x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Andrea Villas-Boas resigns as Porto coach

Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas has resigned the Portuguese club confirms — paving the way for him to join Chelsea.

Porto have confirmed coach Andre Villas-Boas has tendered his resignation and his contract will be terminated once his €15 million (Dh79.1m) 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.

“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 statement read.

“The contract will be terminated once the required amount is paid.”

Chelsea earmarked the 33-year-old as their No 1 choice to replace Carlo Ancelotti when it was understood that the London club’s owner Roman Abramovich met with Villas-Boas at the weekend to discuss personal terms and a transfer budget.

The stumbling block appeared to be Abramovich’s reluctance to trigger Porto’s release clause.  The Lusa news agency reported this morning that Villas-Boas had terminated his deal at the Estadio do Dragao by paying the release clause himself.

Villas-Boas guided Porto to the domestic double and Europa League success last season. And he is no stranger to Chelsea, having worked there under Jose Mourinho.

Villas-Boas, who was reportedly also on Inter Milan’s wanted list, would dramatically increase his salary with a move back to Chelsea, with reports suggesting as much as £4.4m-a-year is on offer.

If Villas-Boas does succeed Ancelotti one of his first signings could be to bring Porto’s star striker Falcao to Stamford Bridge along with him, 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.