Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Villas-Boas on brink of Blues move

Andre Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas looks set to be confirmed as the new Chelsea manager once Porto receive their 15million euros compensation.

Villas-Boas, at just 33 potentially the youngest manager in the Barclays Premier League, emerged as the leading contender to replace Carlo Ancelotti. Now it seems only a matter of time before the Portuguese coach is unveiled at Stamford Bridge after tendering his resignation with the Dragons.

Porto made a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission which read: "FC Porto was today notified of the intention of Andre Villas-Boas to resign from his contract with the club by triggering the release clause immediately. The contract will be terminated once the required amount is paid."

Reports suggest Villas-Boas has indicated he will settle the deal himself, although that is more likely to come via the deep pockets of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has already spent millions in cutting short contracts of previous managers and players.

It had appeared Guus Hiddink - who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker boss in 2008/2009 and continues to enjoy a close relationship with Abramovich - was set to take up a sporting director role at Stamford Bridge once his exit from the Turkish Football Federation is confirmed, with compensation set at around £4million.

However, that scenario now looks uncertain.

Chelsea were keen to appoint an up-and-coming coach to oversee first-team affairs and Villas-Boas would certainly fit the bill after guiding Porto to domestic and Europa League success last season. He is also no stranger to the west London club, having worked there under Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea will not be drawn on any specific movements behind the scenes, but it has been reported Villas-Boas is already in London and his appointment could be confirmed as early as Wednesday.

If he does succeed Ancelotti, one of his 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.