Friday 20 April 2018

Villas-Boas warning for Blues

Jim van Wijk

Porto president Pinta da Costa is convinced Andre Villas-Boas would reject any approach from Chelsea - despite the highly-rated coach having a release clause of just 15million euros (£13m).

The Blues are again in the market for a new manager - their fifth in the past three years - as Carlo Ancelotti paid the price for a trophyless campaign just 12 months after guiding his team to a historic double.

While Guus Hiddink is said to be Roman Abramovich's first choice to reprise the role he filled on a temporary basis to such great effect two years ago, convincing the Dutchman to leave his current post with the Turkish Football Federation could prove complicated.

Villas-Boas, 33, would be no stranger to Stamford Bridge, having worked there under Jose Mourinho. Despite the Portuguese coach having seen his stock rise after guiding the Dragons to domestic and Europa League success, president Da Costa sees no reason for concern over his future.

Speaking to Portugal's public service broadcaster PTP, Da Costa said: "I do not expect the exit of Villas-Boas - there is a clause price of 15million euros 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."

Hiddink is contracted to Turkey until the end of the Euro 2012 campaign, which could come as soon as October were they to fail to qualify for next summer's tournament.

It has been suggested former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez might fancy a stint at international management, which would then pave the way for Hiddink to return to Stamford Bridge.

However, the Spaniard's agent Manuel Garcia Quilon rejected any such speculation. "He has not been approached by Turkey and hence, he has not held talks regarding coaching the national team," Quilon said.

"He has received some offers from several clubs and his priority is to remain in England."

As well as Marco van Basten, former Chelsea midfielder Didier Deschamps is another said to be on Abramovich's radar, having achieved some success at Marseille.

The French club's sporting director Jose Anigo told Radio Monte Carlo: "We have to expect anything. I suppose he is wanted.

"However, he has a contract until 2012. I do not see why he would leave. Staying or going is his own choice.

"I would prefer him to stay because of his winning mentality and quality."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has already ruled himself out of contention.

Ancelotti, meanwhile, could be free to manage another club in England after Chelsea are said to have removed a clause preventing the Italian from taking over at another Premier League club within a year after his dismissal.

Relegated West Ham have shown an interest in the former AC Milan boss, with Aston Villa also a possible destination should Gerard Houllier not recover from his heart problems to return to the helm.

The manner of Ancelotti's dismissal, axed after Sunday's defeat at Everton, has left League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan less than impressed.

The LMA boss told the BBC: "What Chelsea did was disrespectful to the manager, the fans, the club and the Premier League.

"Mr Abramovich needs to look at the experience my members have got - something like 100,000 matches of experience.

"If you want to win you have to look at building cultures, look at [Manchester United manager] Sir Alex Ferguson - he has managed 2,000 matches.

"It will be very interesting to see what the Chelsea fans think about it."

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