John Hughes has left Inverness Caley Thistle after a fallout with chairman Kenny Cameron over how best to take the club forward.
The pair are believed to no longer be on speaking terms after a dispute about the playing budget for next season and tonight it has been confirmed that Hughes has left the club.
Hughes’ contract was due to expire in 2018 but he has now left the club less than a year after winning the Scottish Cup.
Speaking after leaving the club, Hughes said: “I will look back on my time at ICTFC and in the Highlands with a genuine fondness and warm affection for the club, the area and the community.
“The welcome I received from the fans and the response I got from the players throughout my two and a half years there will live long in the memory as will everything else we shared in some of the ground-breaking successes we all enjoyed together during that period.”
A statement, released on behalf of the Caley Thistle board read: “All of us at ICTFC would like to take this opportunity to thank John for his contribution since joining us in December 2013 and specifically his coaching skills and commitment, which helped deliver our successes, and in particular lifting the Scottish Cup for the first time in the club’s history as well as our first foray into European Club Football.
“John will be remembered here at ICTFC as a member of a great winning team and we wish him every success going forward.”
Chairman Cameron will be tasked with finding a replacement for Hughes, who only 12 months ago led Caley Thistle to their most successful season as they lifted the Scottish Cup and finished third in the Premiership to secure European football for the first time.
Veteran midfielder Foran is a frontrunner for the job, despite the 35-year-old still having a year left on his playing contract.
Foran has previously spoken of his desire to move into management, although he remains determined to play his part on the field, and recently indicated he would actively seek a loan move away from Caledonian Stadium if he were not given assurances he would get more game time, having made just 11 appearances this term.
The Irishman spent more than a year on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in a 2-1 defeat by Dundee United in March 2014, but helped out with coaching duties during his rehabilitation and began work on his Uefa A licence towards the end of last year.
Should Foran be handed the job there could be fresh hope of a new deal for defender David Raven, who was not been offered a new contract by Hughes.
News of Raven’s release was met by dismay from Caley Jags supporters, who named the right back as their player of the year despite not starting since February.
Speaking after Inverness’ 4-0 win against Dundee on Saturday, Foran paid tribute to the 31-year-old, who famously netted the winning goal against Celtic to take the Highlanders to the Scottish Cup final.
Foran said: “He’s been a stalwart – a great ambassador for the club, on and off the park. Obviously, it doesn’t look like he’s staying, which is disappointing, but it is all part of football. Players come and go.
“I’ve been there myself. I’ve been let go by clubs and it’s nothing personal. It’s business at the end of the day.
“The club will move on and, hopefully, David will move on to better things as well.”