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From The Guardian

* Tom Kundert in Lisbon and Tom Davies

* guardian.co.uk, Monday 20 June 2011 11.21 BST

* Article history

Chelsea have agreed to pay the release clause for the Porto manager André Villas-Boas, according to reports in Portugal, and the coach has accepted the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's offer.

Villas-Boas will earn €5m (£4.4m) a season, the exact salary José Mourinho earned at the west London club, according to Jornal de Notícias. Chelsea will also pay the €15m (£13.2m) release clause.

Villas-Boas has already informed Porto of his decision to leave for the English club, a source linked to the process told the Agência.

On Sunday the Porto president Pinto da Costa said that "if a club pay the €15m and if he wants to leave FC Porto can't do anything about it. Apparently, André Villas-Boas is willing to leave the 'dream job' [a reference to how Pinto da Costa described his position at Porto] to go to London and work at club where he was with José Mourinho".

Villas-Boas led Porto to the domestic double and Europa League success last term and Chelsea are looking to fill the vacancy created by the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season.

Abramovich may leave €45m in the coffers at Porto's Dragão stadium. According to A Bola, the Chelsea owner wants to take Falcao to London as a sweetener for Villas-Boas's signature.

Chelsea have also been in negotiations with Guus Hiddink about returning to the club he briefly managed in 2009. Chelsea have been talking with Hiddink about taking either the coach's job or the sporting director role – should he take on the latter then there would also be room for Villas-Boas to take a position at the club.

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Excited as well. He knows the Chelsea side very well, this is taken from a 2004 Guardian article about him:

Following 18 months in the sun, he returned to Porto to coach the Under-19s. A year later, Mourinho was appointed as manager, and Villas was given his big break. "Because Jose knew me well from his time as Bobby Robson's assistant, he asked me to create the Opponent Observation Department." In simple terms, the role of the OOD is to compile secret service-style dossiers on Chelsea's rivals. "It takes me four days to put an entire file together," Villas says, "so it is very comprehensive. The reports are given to all the players as well as the manager. The idea is that when the players go out on the pitch, they are totally prepared, so there can be very few surprises during the game."

Also his English is better than Mourinho's.

Edited by Bez
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André Villas Boas Is Worth £15m And Will Get Chelsea Swinging Again

The path to football management is a pretty well trodden one. First you start out as a player, graduating from academy to reserves to first team, battling against form, fitness and fatigue to try and carve out a name for yourself. Then you might move around a few clubs, picking up experience and honours along your way, possibly even become captain somewhere as your leadership attributes become steadily more apparent to those around you.

Eventually it’s time to hang up your boots, attend the two day course and seek gainful employment from the relative safety of the dug-out, where you’ll replace sports cars and five-in-a-bed porn star orgies with explaining to Garth Crooks why you can’t defend set pieces.

But cast an eye over to the Portuguese Liga this season, where Porto have just won their 25th League title, undefeated all season and with five games to spare, under the leadership of one André Villas Boas, a man who had never kicked a ball professionally in his entire life.

It could quite easily be the script to some terrible ‘Goal’-esque made-for-tv movie, but it’s true. Growing up within ear-shot of Porto’s then coach Bobby Robson, Villas Boas, no more than an enthusiastic 17 year old football fan with near flawless English (his Grandmother is from the North-East), would occasionally attempt to bend the great man’s ear and pick his legendary footballing brain.

So impressed was Robson with this young mans knowledge and insight into the game, he pulled a few strings and sent him off to a coaching course in Scotland to obtain his badges, despite being over 10 years too young. At 21, after comfortably waltzing through the course, he was given temporary charge of the British Virgin Islands national side before Robson again recommended him for a job that just opened up in his native Portugal. That job was working as an assistant to the cocky young upstart who had just taken control of FC Porto, a certain Mr Jose Mourinho.

It didn’t take long before Villas Boas talents became obvious to the special one and within months he had elevated himself to what Jose referred to as “his eyes and earsâ€, scouting, compiling match reports and generally seeing patterns in the game that us mere mortals would have missed. After successive league titles and one Champions League crown, Mourinho dragged his young protege with him to Chelsea and, later, Inter Milan.

After one season at Inter, Andre decided it was time to try and make it on his own. He didn’t have to wait long. Portuguese side Academica, who after 4 or 5 games were without a win and flapping around the bottom of the table like a wounded seal, needed a miracle. He rode into town, got them organised at the back and expressive going forward and by the end of the season had dragged them from near certs for relegation to a comfortable 11th place finish a Portuguese cup semi-final. Speculation for a bigger appointment was rife and, although it caused some controversy in the boardroom, Porto decided to take a gamble on him.

So as the bandwagons roll on and the Mourinho comparisons are brutally drilled into your face by an overly-enthused Soccer Saturday panel, sit back and have a smug grin with yourself, you now know better. Forget about him aspiring to be the new “Special Oneâ€, the man’s after a Knighthood.

Less than a year later and they’ve just won the league without defeat, smashed Jose Mourinho’s consecutive win record, play some of the most entertaining attacking football in Europe and have just romped through to the Europa League semis with a 10-3 (yes, ten) aggregate win over Spartak Moscow.

That’s no small potatoes either. Having finished a disappointing third in the previous campaign and spent the summer sacking their manager and selling off their prize assets in Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles, even the most optimistic of fans would have labelled this as a “transitional periodâ€. Not so it would appear.

Inevitably the press have fallen over themselves to label him “the next Mourinhoâ€. It’s an understandable comparison, a young, confident Portuguese manager who, following unprecedented domestic success is on the verge of a move to one of Europe’s elite clubs. He’s well-groomed, an eloquent speaker of multiple languages and your missus will definitely fancy him. But that’s where the comparisons with the Real Madrid boss should end, on the surface.

Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid all had one thing in common under Mourinho, a pragmatic, cerebral approach to the game that, whilst not always brilliant to watch, was incredibly effective at chipping away at the opposition until a weakness was found. An approach Villas Boas has no interest in implementing.

Instead, he has his Porto side playing a delightful brand of attacking football that’s seen them top all the scoring charts this season with a goal difference of +50, already a much better return than they managed last year. Put simply, they’re one of the most exciting teams to watch in all of Europe at the moment and it’s all down Andre’s approach of well-balanced, fast-paced creativity, with two genuine goal scorers in the brilliantly named Hulk and Falcao.

Anyone who witnessed Mourinho’s masterful conversion of Samuel Eto’o from Barcelona’s deadly finisher to a virtual right-back at Inter will know he’s not one who prioritises breathtaking forward play.

Compare this to the late, great Sir Bobby Robson, who at the time of meeting Villas Boas was known as “Bobby Five-O†for the amount of games Porto won 5-0, and it’s clear where his footballing influence, as well as his tactical inspiration have come from. Future stints at PSV, Barcelona and even Newcastle Untied all exalting goal-scoring well above defensive solidity.

He even says it himself. “I see myself more in the image of Robson. Like him I’ve got English heritage, a big nose and I like red wineâ€. So, with Carlo Ancelotti under increasing pressure in the Stamford Bridge electric chair and Abramovich demanding attacking football, don’t be surprise if Andre returns to Stamford Bridge as top dog.

So as the bandwagons roll on and the Mourinho comparisons are brutally drilled into your face by an overly-enthused Soccer Saturday panel, sit back and have a smug grin with yourself, you now know better. Forget about him aspiring to be the new “Special Oneâ€, the man’s after a Knighthood.


Edited by Zola
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My only worry is the instant pressure of being called "The next special one" as he will inevitably be named in the media. Oh and by the way, his odds to join us have dropped to 1/20 on betdaq apparently.

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Was going online and hoped to read something about Hiddink being closer to Chelsea or perhaps that he's signed for us. Seconds later I get hit with a "Boas to Chelsea!" and I'm left stunned.

I was sure we had no chance in hell getting him this season. I was sure he would stay at Porto for atleast another season.

I hope Boas can do really well here. Be a new Mourinho, but without the attitude ;)

And it would also be absolutely amazing if Hiddink came in as well to work in the background. Not only do I love him being here, but I guess he could also be a good support to Boas.

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Just to add some fuel to this fire, Boas was linked with Inter on the weekend with rumours he was about to be officially announced as manager. But apparently he had a change of mind and didnt take the job. hhhmmmmmmm

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I'm in the minority here in that if we're going for someone young and relatively unproven (I could have won the Portugese league with Porto last season) I'd have prefered someone like Hughes.

That said, he's an exciting young manager and has done well in what he's done to date. It might just work. Here's hoping.

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I think Villas Boas is taking the job hoping or after being reassured that Hiddink also comes. He seems a really humble and attentive sort of guy, and remember he's just 33 and has a lot to learn. He's got the right attitude to learn the PR side of management from Hiddink. The one thing that I truly think could undermine Villas Boas is the stirring of the media, and if Hiddink comes he will be able to shield and advise Villas Boas.

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I think I`ll just go look at the official site for the next hour or so.....

Same here, work knows CFC trumps work. On the last day of the January transfer window I had the Shed End, RAWK, CFC.net & Sky Sports website up all day and spent 10 minutes at a time on all them - not to mention Twitter on my phone... My boss came up to me, asked if I would get the work done I had allocated to me by 4pm, I said yes, so he said "cool, I'll let you get back to the transfer window" ha, had a great boss at that time.

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