Soccer

Porto's Andre Villas-Boas heading to Chelsea

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LONDON (AP)

Andre Villas-Boas is set to become Chelsea's seventh manager in eight years after resigning as coach of Portuguese champion Porto on Tuesday.

The English Premier League club paid a reported $21.5 million exit fee to release him from his Porto contract. Chelsea said it hopes to reach an agreement with Villas-Boas and make an announcement in the ''near future.''.

Chelsea has been without a manager since Carlo Ancelotti was fired minutes after the team's final game last season at Everton. Villas-Boas reportedly is to receive a three-year contract and at 33 would be the youngest current manager in the Premier League.

Porto President Jorge Pinto da Costa said he was not surprised by the developments, particularly after the coach made a recent trip to London. Porto assistant Vitor Pereira will succeed Villas-Boas on a two-year contract.

Andre Villas-Boas is entering a delicate situation at Chelsea: How to dismantle an aging squad while quickly satisfying the sky-high demands of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich?

Ancelotti's major flaw was failing to win the Champions League, a trophy Abramovich has coveted since he took control at Stamford Bridge in 2003.

Villas-Boas has never coached in the Champions League and has been a coach for only two years. But at Porto, his team swept to the Europa League title in his first season, suggesting he is up to this challenge.

With Abramovich's deep pockets, Villas-Boas would have the money to bring in new players as the Blues attempt to topple Manchester United in the Premier League and Barcelona in the Champions League.

But Abramovich is an impatient man. No manager has survived in the oligarch's reign if he hasn't won at least the Premier League title the previous year.

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