Villas-Boas quits Porto
Porto have confirmed coach Andre Villas-Boas has tendered his resignation and his contract will be terminated once his 15 million euro release clause has been paid.
The Portuguese champions made the announcement in a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission and it appears to pave the way for Villas-Boas to join Chelsea. The west London club are searching for a coach to replace Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked at the end of last season.
The statement 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."
Villas-Boas, who led Porto to the domestic double and Europa League success last season, has worked for Chelsea before as part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff and speaks good English.
If he does succeed Ancelotti - the Italian was sacked at the end of last season - one of his first moves could be to sign Porto's star striker Falcao, the £25m-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.
Question marks now surround the future of Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman, who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker boss of Chelsea in 2009, was thought to be in line for a return to Stamford Bridge, although reports have suggested he would prefer to remain as a coach and not move upstairs into a sporting director role.
His agent threw up an alternative by refusing to dismiss a link with Inter Milan, who themselves had been interested in Villas-Boas. The coaching role at the San Siro is likely to be vacated by Leonardo shortly, with the former AC Milan boss poised to become Paris St Germain's new sporting director.
Inter have been frustrated in their attempts to recruit Sinisa Mihajlovic, Marcelo Bielsa and now Villas-Boas but Cees van Nieuwenhuizen said Hiddink, currently in charge of the Turkish national side, "would evaluate" Inter's offer should the Nerazzurri reach an agreement with his current employers.
"We have never spoken to (Inter president Massimo) Moratti," Van Nieuwenhuizen told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. "Hiddink has a contract with the Turkish federation and therefore before any talks can begin, Moratti must contact the (Turkish) federation and say he is interested in Guus.
"He is contracted until 2012 so, for the time being, there is no possibility that he can coach Inter. If Inter reached an agreement with Turkey? Well at that point Hiddink would certainly evaluate the Nerazzurri offer but he is a professional and he has never broken a contract in his whole career."