Andre Villas-Boas is ready to go head-to-head with former boss Jose Mourinho for Porto star Fredy Guarin, according to talkSPORT.
The 25 year old Colombian made 22 league appearances under Villas-Boas at Porto last season and has attracted attention of the manager since his move to Chelsea, as well as Mourinho at Spanish giants Real Madrid. Guarin was unhappy at only starting 10 of those 22 league appearances last season and made his feelings public on Twitter, so a move back to Villas-Boas’ management could be difficult for the Chelsea boss to negotiate.
The former Saint Etienne player scored five goals in Porto’s Europa League campaign and Villas-Boas is looking for a midfield player that can replace the injured Michael Essien. The signing of Oriol Romeu is seen as a long-term replacement in central midfield, but his experience is not as high as Guarin’s and Villas-Boas is keen on the move. Guarin is also keen on an exit after playing the last 34 minutes of the Super Cup contest against Vitoria Guimaraes and it appears he may not fit in the style of new manager Vitor Pereira.
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Yossi in Modric bid.
Chelsea are prepared to use Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun as a makeweight in their attempts to prise Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspur, The Daily Mail reports.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has been an admirer of the Israeli captain and could be interested in a transfer fee plus Benayoun from the Blues if they want to prise away Modric from Spurs. Benayoun moved to Stamford Bridge last year, but his season was thwarted by a heel injury and despite his bright start to pre-season, new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is prepared to sacrifice the midfielder.
The 31 year old Benayoun has two years left on his deal at Stamford Bridge following the £5.5m switch from Anfield last summer and if Spurs reject the third Modric offer from Chelsea, Benayoun’s Chelsea career could easily be revived.
Spurs midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart has spoken of his confidence that Luka Modric will stay at White Hart Lane this season, but the Croatian midfielder is heavily interested in a move to the Blues. Villas-Boas has spoken of his desire to bring in a creative attacking midfielder and Modric fits his bill perfectly, so he could plead with Abramovich to part with the £35m valuation Spurs hold.
Holland looking forward.
Chelsea coach Steve Holland says everyone is buzzing ahead of the season opener against Stoke City on August 14th, chelseafc.com reports.
Holland spent five months at Stoke as the Academy director before arriving to Stamford Bridge near the start of the 2009/10 season. The Blues coach is now eagerly anticipating making the trip back, but is all business and wants the three points.
‘It will be a full stadium and a fantastic atmosphere and we’re raring to go. I had a very enjoyable five months at the club and worked for some terrific people who were very good to me and very understanding when the opportunity to join Chelsea came up’, Holland said.
The Blues coach also praised the work of Peter Coates as chairman and Tony Pulis as manager at the Potters and expects them to be well clear of any relegation battle this season.
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