Roman Abramovich sets deadline to sell Chelsea after rejecting £2.5bn bid

Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea up for sale (Getty)

Roman Abramovich has rejected a £2.5 billion offer to sell Chelsea and has set a deadline to receive bids by mid-March, according to reports.

The 55-year-old, who has owned Chelsea since 2003, has put the club up for sale following pressure on the UK Government to sanction him in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer questioned why Prime Minister Boris Johnson is yet to impose any restrictions on Abramovich, while Labour MP Chris Bryant claims Chelsea’s owner is ‘terrified of being sanctioned’ and is already selling off his property.

It has been claimed that Abramovich, purchased Chelsea for £140 million nearly 19 nears ago, is holding out for a £4bn fee, but other sources claim an offer in the region of £3bn would be accepted.

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Sky News claim that a £2.5bn bid was turned down by Abramovich earlier this week, while eight multibillionaires have already been approached about the possibility of buying Chelsea.

It’s reported that Abramovich wants to complete the deal quickly and would sell before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, The Independent report that it is ‘far from inconceivable’ that Abramovich could have a deal in place to sell Chelsea by the time they face Newcastle in their next Premier League home fixture on March 13.

Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea for £140m in 2003 (AFP via Getty)

It’s understood that American merchant bank Raine Group have been instructed by Abramovich to sound out offers.

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, who is worth around $5.8bn (£4.3bn), has already claimed that he, along with three others, has received a proposal to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.

‘Abramovich is one of Putin’s closest advisers and friends. Like all other oligarchs, he is also in a state of panic,’ the 85-year-old told Swiss newspaper Blick.

‘Abramovich is trying to sell all his properties in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.’

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is worth around £12.3bn, has previously held talks about buying Chelsea but has been put off by Abramovich’s valuation.

‘There was some early exchange [with Chelsea] but we were a significant way apart on valuations,’ Ratcliffe’s brother, Bob, said in 2019.

‘The issue with Chelsea is its stadium. We are all getting older and it is a decade of your life to resolve that.’

American sports investor Todd Boehly, who owns parts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers, is another who has been turned down by Abramovich in the past but is understood to have revived his interest.

Abramovich attempted to distance himself from Chelsea over the weekend by giving up his ‘stewardship and care’ of the club to the trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation.

However, while the Russian remains in control, while the inner workings of the club remain unchanged.

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