Caley Thistle assistant manager Brian Rice has confirmed manager John Hughes is in discussions about extending his contract with the Highlanders.
Hughes was a contender for the previously vacant Dundee United position, with Inverness rejecting an approach from the Tannadice club prior to their appointment of Mixu Paatelainen this week.
Chairman Kenny Cameron has refused to comment on the future of Hughes, whose contract runs out at the end of the season.
Rice says talks are ongoing but reckons Hughes’ contract situation has only been thrust the spotlight by his link with the United hotseat.
Rice said: “People are talking about the contract now but three weeks ago they weren’t. It was still going to be up in the summer regardless of the speculation. Talks have been ongoing for a little while now between John, his agent and the chairman.
“They’ve been talking and if people think that it’s just happening now, then they’re not getting the right picture.”
Despite United’s initial approach being rejected, Hughes is believed to have been keen to speak with Arabs chairman Stephen Thompson about the position.
Rice, however, says the Caley Jags manager is entirely focused on building on his success at Inverness, having won the Scottish Cup last season as well as securing European football for the first time.
Rice, who replaced Russell Latapy as Hughes’ assistant in the summer, added: “It’s the same at every club. Managers have moved on and whether they do well or not, that’s irrelevant. John doesn’t see this as a stepping stone – he came here with something to prove and he’s still doing that. It’s still a work in progress.
“Whatever John does in his life he’s totally committed. He either puts his heart into it or it’s nothing. Ask the players and staff here – John is 100% committed to Inverness.
“There’s unfinished business here. It’s not a one-season wonder. We started something at Falkirk and saw it all the way through. At Hibs we were in the middle of doing that and it just didn’t happen there for one reason or another.
“Here, John has started something and he’s got loads to build on. I know he’s got big plans for here.”