By Will Butcher

Ex-Newcastle defender Aaron Hughes has been named as the marquee player for Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters.

The 36-year-old, who is known for his versatility in defence, was an integral part of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign that qualified from the group stages.

The former QPR defender has joined the Blasters for the third season of the ISL, who are owned by Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The news was confirmed on the official Kerala Blasters Twitter thread.

 

Tendulkar’s side are managed by former Premier League boss Steve Coppell, after the former England international last managed Bristol City back in 2010.

Hughes made over 200 league appearances during his eight-year spell in the North East, and has also racked up more than 100 caps for his country, with his 103rd coming against Wales during their Round of 16 loss at Euro 2016.

The move comes after Hughes was released during a short stay in Australia with Melbourne City, where he made six appearances.

The Cookstown-born defender was part of Roy Hodgson’s Fulham side that contested the Europa League final in 2010, losing to Atletico Madrid in extra-time 2-1.

Hughes has a wealth of Premier League experience, making 455 league appearances for the Magpies as well as Fulham and Aston Villa.

In other Newcastle news, this veteran Croatian striker has decided to stay in Germany despite interest from manager Rafa Benitez.