Chelsea have denied claims the club is up for sale after rumours emerged that owner Roman Abramovich is actively looking for a buyer.
The Russian, who was denied a new visa to enter the UK back in May, pulled the plug on the club’s proposed new stadium and rejected an offer to buy Chelsea from Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Britain’s richest man – over the summer.
However, The Sunday Times Business section report that Abramovich is willing to sell the club and is simply holding out for a bigger offer.
They claim Abramovich has hired US investment bank Raine Group to seek interest from investors in China, the US and Middle East.
They are the same specialist that helped Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi ownership sell a 13% stake to Chinese investors three years ago, and there is likely to be huge interest in buying Chelsea.
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Abramovich wants in excess of £2billion for the club, which would almost triple the previous most expensive takeover in football history when the Glazer family bought Manchester United for £790m.
But according to The Mirror, Chelsea are adamant that the club is not for sale and insist Abramovich is still committed despite not being able to visit Stamford Bridge.
The Russian recently bought a new £30m penthouse in west London, while Chelsea invested significantly over the summer, breaking their transfer record to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Nevertheless, there is huge interest from abroad in buying Premier League clubs, with Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, recently rejecting a £2bn offer from an Abu Dhabi Sheikh.