Chelsea's bill for dismissing Andre Villas-Boas should amount to less than £1million as their former manager is already under serious consideration for positions in Italy, Portugal and Spain.The 34 year old expects to be back in employment and off Roman Abramovich's payroll before the start of next season.
In contrast to past Chelsea managers, whose compensation packages have cost the Russian billionaire close to £50m, the terms of Villas-Boas' departure specify that he will only be paid by Chelsea until taking a position elsewhere.Villas-Boas was on a less lucrative annual salary than his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti at £2m per annum after tax.
FC Porto, who extracted a €15m (£12.6m) 'transfer fee' from Chelsea for Villas-Boas last summer, are considering inviting back their former coach should Vitor Pereira fail to retain their Portuguese title.But sources close to Villas-Boas say his preference is to re-establish his leadership credentials in La Liga or Serie A.
In Italy, two clubs who attempted to hire Villas-Boas ahead of Chelsea lead the market for his services.AS Roma entered the weekend seventh in domestic competition, with recently appointed general manager Franco Baldini contemplating a replacement for Luis Enrique.
Internazionale moved one place ahead of Roma with an away win at mid-table Chievo on Friday night, yet remain in serious danger of missing out on Champions League football. While Inter owner Massimo Moratti's preference would be to recruit Fabio Capello, the ex-England manager is reluctant to take on club uninvolved in European football's elite competition.Villas-Boas, employed as Inter's scout under Jose Mourinho between 2008 and 2009, is currently Moratti's principal candidate.
A great admirer of Spanish football whose long-term ambition is to manage Barcelona, Villas-Boas also expects to have opportunities in La Liga. Both Valencia and Sevilla plan to change technical staff next season and are interested in a man who led FC Porto to an unprecedented treble in his sole complete season as a coach.
Though Villas-Boas exited Stamford Bridge with his team outside the Champions League qualification places and the worst statistical record of any Abramovich-era manager, much of that failure has been attributed to the difficulties of working under the Russian and with a truculent playing staff.Tellingly, the controversial interview with Portuguese radio station TSF which helped accelerate Villas-Boas' exit was designed as a test of Abramovich's support.
Following his eventual dismissal last Sunday morning, Villas-Boas went on holiday to the Maldives. He has kept his residence in London and intends to continue living in the city until June.
The Bundesliga could provide Abramovich with further assistance in cutting his losses with Hamburg SV ready to convert Jeffrey Bruma's two-season loan into a permanent transfer.The German club's technical director, Frank Arnesen, also intends to acquire more misfits from the underperforming Chelsea academy he used to head up.
"There'll be a decision [on Bruma] at the beginning or middle of March, I'm very confident that he'll stay," said Arnesen. "We have spots for talented players between 18-22."I know every Chelsea player. Fourteen are on loan at them moment. Five-eight further players belong to the squad, but don't get much playing time. It may well be that we will sign one or two of those."
Arnesen announced his resignation as Chelsea's sporting director in November 2010 after it was made clear that his contract would not be renewed.Since joining Hamburg 13 months ago he has taken Netherlands centre back Bruma on loan and signed Michael Mancienne, Slobodan Rajkovic, Jacopo Sala and Gokhan Tore from Chelsea. Not one of the five has made more than 15 League appearances for the German club.
Follow us @SprtNationalUAE