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Premier League

Chelsea target Andre Villas-Boas quits Porto

Chelsea's pursuit of highly-rated coach Andre Villas-Boas appeared to move a step closer to completion tonight as Porto announced they had received the payment required to release him from his contract.

Confirmation came earlier today that Villas-Boas tendered his resignation with the Portuguese champions, and the receipt of the compensation payment, reported to be 15million euros, leaves the way clear for the 33-year-old to move on to a new club.

Now it seems only a matter of time before the Portuguese coach is unveiled at Stamford Bridge.

A statement from Porto to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission read: "FC Porto, in accordance with Article 248 paragraph 1 of the Securities Code, hereby informs the market they have received from Mr Andre Villas-Boas the amount provided for in clause to terminate his employment contract."

The statement added that all that remained to sort out were the formalities of the termination of the contract.

Porto, who also confirmed Vitor Pereira as their new coach on a two-year contract, added on their official website: "The amount has been deposited on the termination clause of the work contract of Andre Villas-Boas."

Porto made a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission earlier today confirming Villas-Boas had tendered his resignation, and that the compensation payment would complete the termination of his contract with the Dragons.

Reports suggest Villas-Boas had indicated he would settle the deal himself, although the funds were more likely to have come via the deep pockets of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has already spent millions in cutting short contracts of previous managers and players.

It had appeared Guus Hiddink - who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker boss in 2008-09 and continues to enjoy a close relationship with Abramovich - was set to take up a sporting director role at Stamford Bridge once his exit from the Turkish Football Federation is confirmed, with compensation set at around £4million. However, that scenario now looks uncertain.

Chelsea were keen to appoint an up-and-coming coach to oversee first-team affairs and Villas-Boas would certainly fit the bill after guiding Porto to domestic and Europa League success last season. He is also no stranger to the west London club, having worked there under Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea will not be drawn on any specific movements behind the scenes, but it has been reported Villas-Boas is already in London.

If he does succeed Ancelotti, one of his first moves as the new Blues boss could be to sign Porto's star striker Radamel 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.

That could then signal the departure of Didier Drogba, with AC Milan said to be ready to offer the veteran Ivory Coast striker a fresh start in Italy.