Villas-Boas to start Chelsea reign with £80million deals for Falcao, Moutinho and... Neymar!
Published 23:01 21/06/11 By Martin Lipton
Andre Villas-Boas has lined up an £80million triple swoop when he becomes Roman Abramovich's seventh Chelsea manager in seven years.
Villas-Boas will be confirmed as Carlo Ancelotti's Stamford Bridge successor in the next 24 hours after Chelsea bankrolled the 33-year-old's £13.2m extrication from his contract with the Portuguese champions.
The Portuguese, who was the chief opposition scout during Jose Mourinho's SW6 reign, flew into London last night after breaking his ties with Porto and hopes to persuade Abramovich to land Colombian striker Radamel Falcao and Portuguese playmaker Joao Moutinho and give him two players who will be dressing room disciples.
Chelsea are also closing in on Brazilian teenager Neymar with a £40m bid being prepared after he plays for Santos in the second leg of their Copa Libertadores final against Penarol tonight.
Israeli agent Pini Zahavi has flown to Sao Paulo to help Chelsea complete their swoop for the South American after his club Santos turned down the initial £30m aproach, with a deal expected to go through before the weekend.
Villas-Boas is also keen on bringing at least two members of his coaching staff with him, physical trainer Jose Mario Rocha and opposition scout Daniel Sousa, although Porto have named his assistant Vitor Pereira as their new boss.
Pereira said: "Andre asked me if I wanted to come with him to Chelsea but I told him my dream was to stay as coach of Porto. This is the club where I want to succeed.
"Andre made his history, of which I am proud. I thank Andre for his friendship and trust but the past is the past. Andre knows that Porto will continue to win."
Porto President Pinta Da Costa refused to discuss Villas-Boas' exit last night as Chelsea prepared for an imminent announcement after Porto last night confirmed to the Portuguese Stock Exchange that the buy-out clause money has been deposited.
Villas-Boas has agreed to take up the toughest job in club football, on a three-year deal worth £6.2m per season and just as Mourinho brought in Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho from Porto to spread the gospel according to the Special One, so then new man will follow that blueprint with his own two chosen signings.
Falcao, the star of the Portuguese season seems set on following Villas-Boas to Chelsea after ditching his former agent, Claudio Mossio, and employing Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, who represents Villas-Boas, Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo among others.
The former River Plate striker, 25, who moved to Portugal from the Argentinian side in 2009, has scored a staggering 73 goals in 85 appearances for Porto, including a record-breaking 17 in the Europa League campaign he sealed with the only goal against Braga in Dublin last month.
Porto has set a minimum release clause price of £26.5m for his services while they are likely to want at least £14m for Mourinho, despite spending just £9m to land him from Sporting Lisbon last summer.