Andre Villas-Boas' appointment as Chelsea manager was finally confirmed this morning, with the Barclays Premier League club maintaining the Portuguese coach was the "outstanding candidate for the job".
It had appeared Dutchman Guus Hiddink - who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker boss at Chelsea in 2008-09 and continues to enjoy a close relationship with owner Roman Abramovich - was set to return to Stamford Bridge once his exit from the Turkish Football Federation was agreed, with compensation set at around £4million.
However, that scenario, whether as sporting director or first-team manager, never materialised, with Chelsea focused instead on appointing an up-and-coming coach following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian unceremoniously axed at the end of last season just 12 months after guiding the club to a league and FA Cup double.
Villas-Boas, 33, certainly fits the bill after guiding Porto to domestic and Europa League success last season. He is also no stranger to the west London club, working there under as part of the backroom staff under Jose Mourinho, whom he followed to Inter Milan.
Chelsea have given Villas-Boas a three-year deal and the Portuguese will start his new position "immediately" following his departure from Porto.
"Andre was the outstanding candidate for the job. He is one of the most talented young managers in football today and has already achieved much in a relatively short space of time," the club statement read.
"His ambition, drive and determination matches that of Chelsea and we are confident Andre's leadership of the team will result in greater successes in major domestic and European competitions.
"Andre will bring his coaching experience back to a club he is already very familiar with, having previously worked here for three years.
"He has always been highly regarded at Chelsea and everyone here looks forward to welcoming him back and working with him."
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.
However, at just 33 Villas-Boas will be the youngest manager in the Barclays Premier League and must quickly integrate himself back into the Stamford Bridge dressing room, but this time as the boss.
Villas-Boas tendered his resignation with Porto yesterday, with last night's confirmation of the receipt of the compensation payment - reported to be 15million euros - paving the way for him to move on to a new club, with Chelsea swiftly acknowledging their official interest.
All that was left was for Villas-Boas to agree the formalities of a lucrative £4.4million a year salary on his return to Stamford Bridge, but this time as the man charged with delivering the Champions League trophy.
Porto confirmed in a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission that the full buy-out clause had been met by Villas-Boas himself - although it is likely to have come via the deep pockets of Abramovich, who has already spent millions in cutting short contracts of previous managers and players.
Andre Villas-Boas factfile
1977: Born in Porto on October 17.
1993: Invited to work as a trainee with FC Porto's youth-team coaches by manager Sir Bobby Robson.
1994: Achieves Uefa C coaching licence in Scotland.
2000: Takes charge of the British Virgin Islands for two international matches. Both end in defeat.
2002: Becomes part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff at Porto.
2004: Follows Mourinho to Chelsea.
2008: Moves with Mourinho to Inter Milan.
2009: Appointed manager of Academica in October, with club bottom of the table and without a win. Villas-Boas guides them to an 11th-place finish and a Portuguese League Cup semi-final.
2010: June 2 - Appointed manager of boyhood club Porto.
August 7 - Wins Portuguese Supercup with 2-0 victory over Benfica.
April 3 - Leads Porto to their 25th league title, finishing with the biggest ever winning margin over second place (21 points).
May 18 - Porto win Europa League with a 1-0 triumph over fellow Portuguese side Braga.
May 22 - Guides Porto to a trophy treble with a comprehensive 6-2 win over Vitoria de Guimaraes in Portuguese Cup final.
June 21 - Porto confirm Villas-Boas has tendered his resignation and his contract will be terminated once his 15million euros release clause has been paid.
Porto later announce they have received the required compensation, with Chelsea releasing a short statement confirming their interest in Villas-Boas and their intention to agree personal terms in the near future.
June 22 - Appointed Chelsea manager on a three-year contract.Reuse content