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Monday 11 December 2017

AVB: I could get sack tomorrow

ANDRE VILLA-BOAS has for the first time expressed his fears that he can no longer be sure of the support of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and conceded that he may suffer the same fate as his predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti.

In a wide-ranging, hour-long interview in Portuguese, Villas-Boas also discussed in detail changes that will be made to the squad this summer and attacked Manchester City over their "Italian standards" of football.

The most eye-catching revelations, however, centred on his comparison between Chelsea's plight this season with their last campaign, which resulted in Ancelotti being fired.

"We are now in the exact same moment as last year," Villas-Boas said.

"It is an exact copy, but with a less experienced coach. I know that, in the Abramovich era, we have the worst results but I think I have felt the confidence from the owner. Let's see if he wants a change in the club or not.

"The pattern of behaviour of the owner has led to a downfall of managers in similar situations, or even 'better' situations. What will be his reaction?

"It will be one of two: either a continuation of the project and full support from above, or a continuation of the cultural pattern that has happened before.

"We don't know. We don't know if it'll be tomorrow or in two years from now. It'll depend upon what is your understanding of what is happening at the moment."

Villas-Boas also revealed some of his plans for the future, should he survive, suggesting Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou would be among the players leaving while bids for Porto's Joao Moutinho, Alvaro Pereira and, possibly, Hulk might be made.

Asked directly whether he was interested in the Porto forward Hulk, Villas-Boas added: "As such, there will surely be a place to fill and I see room for a player like an explosive winger, strong in one-on-one situations.



Supportive

"This is a profile in which Hulk fits, as do other players we have referenced."

While Chelsea have maintained that the club remain supportive of Villas-Boas, it is understood that Abramovich has been considering yet another change of manager after a poor run of form.

It is believed that Abram-ovich has been reviewing his options since the 2-0 defeat at Everton on February 11, which followed his visits to the training ground, and that intensified in the wake of last Tuesday's 3-1 loss at Napoli in the Champions League.

Sources have claimed that Abramovich was "75 per cent certain" to turn to former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez if he decided to make a change.

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