Porto's Villas Boas says talk of move "absurd"
LISBON (Reuters) -- Porto coach Andre Villas Boas said reports linking him with a move to clubs in England or Italy were "absurd".
The 33-year-old has, according to newspaper reports in several countries, attracted attention from clubs such as Roma, Juventus, Chelsea and Liverpool after leading Porto to the Portuguese league title in his first full season.
"There are incredible stories. Supposedly I said no to Roma because I was going to Liverpool," the coach told reporters ahead of Thursday's Europa League semifinal first leg against Spanish side Villarreal. "It's absurd".
"The speculation is natural, given what this team has been doing. But it is still false information," he added.
Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday linked the coach with a move to Juventus, and Portuguese media added that the Turin club had sent representatives to watch Villas Boas during the Villarreal match and persuade him to leave the Porto at the end of the season.
"It's absurd to say they are coming to observe me. During the game, the coach does nothing more that walk around in a suit and run a little bit," Villas Boas said.
Interest from Europe's major clubs will almost certainly increase if Villas Boas follows in the footsteps of his former boss Jose Mourinho by adding a European trophy to the domestic title. Villas Boas spent years working as Mourinho's assistant at Porto and then at Chelsea and Inter Milan.
But first he must guide Porto to the May 18 final in Dublin by overcoming Villarreal, a team whose attacking style the coach complimented.
"Villarreal are the most difficult team we have come across on this route. They play high-quality attacking football, with a style that has been compared to Barcelona's," Villas Boas said.