Blues confirm Villas-Boas interest
Chelsea hope to appoint Andre Villas-Boas as their new manager, the Barclays Premier League club confirmed on Tuesday night.
Villas-Boas tendered his resignation with the Portuguese champions earlier in the day and confirmation of the receipt of the compensation payment - reported to be 15million euros - paves the way for the Portuguese coach to move on to a new club.
"We note that the release clause of Andre Villas-Boas has been activated," a Chelsea club statement read. "We can at this time confirm our interest in him and hope to reach agreement with him on personal terms and make a further announcement in the near future."
The 33-year-old is set to replace Carlo Ancelotti, who was unceremoniously axed at the end of last season just 12 months after guiding the club to a league and FA Cup double.
Porto confirmed in a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission, that the full buy-out clause had been met by Villas-Boas himself, although it is likely to have come via the deep pockets of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has already spent millions in cutting short contracts of previous managers and players.
The statement read: "FC Porto, in accordance with Article 248 paragraph 1 of the Securities Code, hereby informs the market they have received from Mr Andre Villas-Boas the amount provided for in clause to terminate his employment contract."
It added that all that remained to sort out were the formalities of the termination of the contract.
Porto have moved swiftly to appoint a replacement coach, with Vitor Pereira stepping up into the hotseat after apparently turning down the chance to move to England with Villas-Boas.
One of Villas-Boas' first moves as the new Blues boss could be to sign Porto's star striker Falcao, the £25million-rated Colombian having impressed as the Dragons won the Europa League final at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, where the 25-year-old netted the only goal against Braga.
That could then signal the departure of Didier Drogba, with AC Milan said to be ready to offer the veteran Ivory Coast striker a fresh start in Italy.