Mourinho prepared for battle with Chelsea as clubs pursue Porto star

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Andre Villas-Boas is preparing for his first battle with Jose Mourinho as Porto midfielder Fredy Guarin tops both Chelsea’s and Real Madrid’s shopping list.

The 25-year-old midfielder is attracting interest from Europe’s top clubs and Porto can expect a bid from at least one as the midfielder looks to engineer a move away from Porto.

Guarin played just 34 minutes of the Super Cup game with Vitoria Guimaraes at the weekend as the new Porto boss, Vitro Pereira, prefers a central midfield of Joao Moutinho and Ruben and Guarin is ready to further his career.

Roma are the only club to have approached Porto so far and Guarin’s agent believes Porto will settle for a fee of around £13.25m for the midfielder despite the Colombian having a £26m release clause in his contract.

Guarin started just 10 of his 44 appearances under Villas-Boas last season but was instrumental in the second half of the season as Porto stormed to the treble.

With five goals in the successful Europa League campaign Guarin is capable of assisting the attack with goals and with Michael Essien out until at least February because of the African Nations, Chelsea are in the hunt for a midfielder.

Yesterday Porto denied Real Madrid had closed in on a deal for Guarin but it is believed Mourinho is interested in raiding his former club and Roma have some competition on their hands in Chelsea and Real Madrid.

“Porto have not received a single offer for the transfer of Guarin, whether it is from Real Madrid or any other club, nor does it pretend to negotiate this player or any other,” read a Porto statement.

Pereira left out both Guarin and Falcao for Saturday’s Super Cup and Porto could be two influential players lighter by the time the Primeira Liga kicks off on Sunday.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.