Andre Villas-Boas' meteoric rise from backroom scout to one of the most demanding jobs in world football is set to be confirmed after Chelsea moved to install the Portuguese coach as their new manager.
Villas-Boas has tendered his resignation with Porto, with Tuesday night's confirmation of the receipt of the compensation payment - reported to be 15million euros - paving the way for him to move on to a new club. Chelsea swiftly confirmed their intention to appoint the 33-year-old as the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti, who was axed at the end of last season just 12 months after guiding the club to a league and FA Cup double.
"We note that the release clause of Andre Villas-Boas has been activated," a Chelsea club statement read. "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."
That could come later on Wednesday, with Villas-Boas said to be close to agreeing the formalities of a lucrative £4.4million a year salary on his return to Stamford Bridge, but this time as the man charged with delivering the Champions League trophy.
Porto confirmed in a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission, that the full buy-out clause had been met by Villas-Boas himself, although it is likely to have come via the deep pockets of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has already spent millions in cutting short contracts of previous managers and players.
The statement read: "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."
It added all that remained to sort out were the formalities of the termination of the contract.
Porto have moved swiftly to appoint a replacement coach, with Vitor Pereira stepping up into the hotseat after apparently turning down the chance to move to England with Villas-Boas.
It had appeared that Guus Hiddink - who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker boss at Chelsea in 2008-09 and continues to enjoy a close relationship with Abramovich - was set to take up a sporting director role at Stamford Bridge once his exit from the Turkish Football Federation was agreed, with compensation set at around £4million.
However, it now seems that scenario failed to get off the ground as Chelsea turned their attentions to appointing an up-and-coming coach to oversee first-team affairs.
© Press Association