FC Porto have revealed that treble-winning coach Andre Villas-Boas has resigned from his position, with Chelsea confirming they are hoping to agree personal terms with him "in the near future".
Villas-Boas is now expected to be named as the Blues' new manager in the coming days after they paid the Portuguese champions the €15 million that activates the release clause in his contract.
Porto said in a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission: ''FC Porto, in accordance with Article 248 paragraph 1 of the Securities Code, hereby informs the market they have received from Mr Andre Villas-Boas the amount provided for in clause to terminate his employment contract.''
The statement also said that all that remained to sort out were the formalities of the termination of the contract.
Porto, who also confirmed Vitor Pereira as their new coach on a two-year contract, added on their official website: ''The amount has been deposited on the termination clause of the work contract of Andre Villas-Boas.''
Chelsea had been reluctant to pay such a large amount for a manager but Porto have stood resolutely by their rights and have now been rewarded for their persistence, with the Blues confirming their interest.
"We note that the release clause of Andre Villas-Boas has been activated," a statement on Chelsea's website said. "We can at this time confirm our interest in him and hope to reach agreement with him on personal terms and make a further announcement in the near future."
Villas-Boas is expected to sign an initial two-year deal with Chelseas, with star striker Falcao tipped to follow him. The Colombia international set a new goalscoring record for the Europa League last season, netting 17 goals in 14 games as Porto won the competition and bagged 16 in the league as the club cruised to the Primeira Liga title.
Villas-Boas was part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff at Stamford Bridge between 2004-2007, meaning he can step into the club with an understanding of both English football and the way Roman Abramovich runs things.