Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011

Chelsea could launch a raid on Andre Villas-Boas’ old club FC Porto in order to secure a replacement for Yuri Zhirkov.

Villas-Boas is keen on Uruguay international Alvaro Pereira to fill the void left by Zhirkov’s expected sale to Anzhi Makhachkala.

Zhirkov is ready to quit Stamford Bridge for more regular first team football, commenting: "Unfortunately, at Chelsea I haven’t had enough match practice in the last season.

"I want to play football and not sit on the bench."

And Zhirkov may yet have more options than Anzhi, with Lokomotiv Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg, Rubin Kazan and Dynamo Moscow all considering a swoop.

The Russian’s sale will leave Chelsea free to move for Pereira, a player Villas-Boas rates as one of the finest wing-backs in world football.

Pereira recently starred in the 2011 Copa America with Uruguay, helping the small South American country to a 15th continental title.

In Europe Pereira has impressed too and was a vital part of Villas’ Boas Treble winning team last season.

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