DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: FC Porto Head Coach, Andre Villas Boas looks on during a FC Porto training session ahead of their UEFA Europa League Final against SC Braga at The Dublin Arena on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Since Carlo Ancelotti's departure from Chelsea, a lot of the focus has been on some sort of Marco van Basten/Guus Hiddink tag team. The general consensus seems to have been that while the Blues would also love to pursue Andre Villas Boas, but it would be difficult to persuade FC Porto to allow their prodigy to depart before at least one season of Champions League football, and that Villas Boas himself might want to stay.
Well, consider that first barrier more or less lifted. Andre Villas Boas has a release price. And it's not very high:
I do not expect the exit of Villas-Boas, there is a clause price of €15million - but I am totally convinced that even if any club came in with the offer, he would reject the proposition.
Villas-Boas is very committed to Porto and more so after this big season. Two days ago he also told me that if no players leave, then he will not even need any new players.
-FC Porto President Pinto da Costa. Source: Sky Sports.
I believe I speak for more or less every Chelsea fan in existence when I say that this is an extremely interesting development. Chelsea can easily meet that price - it just becomes a matter of selling Villas Boas on what Chelsea want to be doing over the next few seasons. Ultimately, this (sort of, see below)takes the decision out of Porto's hands and puts it entirely in Villas Boas', which can only be good news for Chelsea considering the financial resources at their disposal and his previous relationship with the club.
Although Marco van Basten would be an interesting acquisition (thanks to Steve for his brilliant profile on the man himself), I think most of us would agree that Villas Boas has demonstrated rather brilliant tactical acumen during his time at Porto. Combining that with the possibility of Guus Hiddink as a Director of Football would be something akin to a dream come true, and that possibility looks a lot closer with this news than it did yesterday.
It's worth noting, however, that simply meeting the release clause may not be enough for Porto to allow Villas Boas to move on. Ultimately they probably won't make too much of a fuss over it, but there are legal methods they can use to increase the price and delay any possible move. It's something to keep in mind, but from my understanding that's a minor thing.