|Villas Boas would be the youngest coach ever in the English Premier League if he moved to Chelsea [GALLO/GETTY]
Andre Villas Boas moved a step closer to an expected move to English Premier League Chelsea after resigning as coach of Porto.
"Porto has been notified of the intention of coach Andre Villas Boas to terminate, without just cause, his contract with the club, immediately activating his release clause," the Portuguese and Europa League champions said in a statement.
Porto added that the 33-year-old contract will be deemed terminated once the deposit for his $21.52 million release clause has been paid.
The coach, contracted to Porto until 2013, has been strongly linked with Chelsea who are seeking a new manager after sacking Carlo Ancelotti on the last day of the season in May.
Villas Boas, who worked as assistant and coach at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho from 2004 to 2007, joined Porto as head coach in June last year and led the club to a treble of Portuguese Premier League, Portugal Cup and Europa League.
He also worked under Mourinho at Porto and Inter Milan, before helping Academica Coimbra avoid relegation from the Portuguese Premier League after starting his career as head coach at the club in October 2009.
Villas Boas has been dubbed in the media as the "mini Mourinho".
Those comparisons were reinforced last month when he emulated his mentor by winning the Europa League, the second-tier European competition which Mourinho won with Porto in 2003, when it was called the UEFA Cup.
Villas Boas said last month that his future was tied with Porto.
The win over compatriots Braga in Dublin made him the youngest coach ever to win a European club competition, and he would be the youngest to ever manage in the English Premier League if he moved to Chelsea.
His rampant Porto team also became the first side since 1978 to complete the Portuguese league undefeated, clinching the title with a win at their rivals Benfica's Luz Stadium.
Villas Boas started coaching as a teenager in Portugal and entered international football as technical director of the British Virgin Islands, aged just 21.
Turkey boss and former Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink was also in the frame for the job at Stamford Bridge.