Thursday 23 November 2017

Porto's hometown hero boasts €15m price-tag

Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas celebrates after becoming the youngest manager to lift a European club title. Photo: Reuters
Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas celebrates after becoming the youngest manager to lift a European club title. Photo: Reuters

Jason Burt

Andre Villas-Boas has revealed he has a staggering €15m release clause in his contract which is partly why the most talented young coach in European football is set to stay at Porto for at least one more season.

Chelsea have discussed hiring Villas-Boas, who was formerly on Jose Mourinho's staff at Stamford Bridge, as Carlo Ancelotti's replacement. Along with other leading European clubs, Chelsea are still closely monitoring developments at Porto.

The release clause is prohibitive and it seems unlikely that Porto will negotiate for it to be removed or lowered. It appears the clause applies to this summer only. At the end of next season, it is understood the amount of compensation due to the Portuguese champions would be much lower, making it far easier for an approach to be made.

Villas-Boas is only 33 and by then he will have had a tilt at the Champions League. He has time on his side and a growing number of accolades.

Records have tumbled at every turn for Villas-Boas, first brought into the club in the 1990s by the late Bobby Robson -- to whom Villas-Boas dedicated Wednesday's 1-0 Europa League final win over Braga in Dublin, along with Bobby's widow, Elsie.


In his debut season he has so far led his club to three trophies (league, Europa League and Portuguese Super Cup), their first-ever unbeaten league campaign and has broken the run of 14 successive league wins set by Antonio Oliveira's side in 1996-97.

The latest feather in Villas-Boas' cap is perhaps the most impressive, after Porto's victory at the Aviva Stadium saw him supplant Gianluca Vialli as the youngest coach to lift a European club trophy. Vialli was three months older when he guided Chelsea to Cup-Winners' Cup victory over Stuttgart in 1998.

Villas-Boas was bombarded with questions over his future in the press conference after Porto's win and he answered them with his customary honesty and humour in English and Portuguese.

Villas-Boas also gave details of the release clauses for two of his star players -- €100m (£88m) for Hulk and €30m (£26.5m) for Falcao, who scored the winning goal. Such a disclosure is not unusual given that trading of players is based around their transfer fees and values, but it was surprising when, unprompted, Villas-Boas revealed some of the detail about his own contract.

"Porto has the highest release clauses in the market, so it is not possible for talent to run away from us," he explained of the players before turning to himself.

"My release clause is very, very high. It is something that reflects the power of the Porto brand and I'm very proud of that. This is my club, my hometown and I'm proud to be here."

In the corridors at the Aviva, the infectious joy of the whole Porto staff was evident.


Just as with the celebrations after the two wins at Benfica that clinched the league and delivered Villas-Boas' side to Sunday's Portuguese Cup final against Guimaraes, it contained the sense of a closely bonded group who revel in each other's company.

"He's our friend, not just our coach," was captain Helton's description of Villas-Boas. "We're happy to have him with us, because he gives us the freedom to work."

Other clubs have made inquiries already as to how much it would cost to release Villas-Boas from his contract and have been shocked by the figure quoted by Porto.

Such arrangements are not unusual as Chelsea found out when securing the services of Mourinho in 2004. But then Chelsea had to pay Porto 'just' €2.5m for Mourinho and five coaches. The price for Villas-Boas is obviously a lot higher.

But not next year, it isn't. And the big clubs will come calling again. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Andre Villas-Boas

Playing career: None

Birthplace: Porto

Age at first managerial job: 32

Clubs: Academica, Porto

Home league record this season:

P 15; W 14; D 1; L 0; F 43; A 11.

Irish Independent

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