The potential £4.25bn take over of Chelsea has been thrown into fresh doubt.
This follows a renewed impasse between owner Roman Abramovich and Whitehall over the deal’s terms.
Sky News reports that government officials have doubts about whether a special licence needed to approve the sale of the Premier League team, will be issued before a deadline at the end of the month.
It is understood that ministers are yet to receive the assurances they are seeking from Abramovich, about where the £2.5bn sale proceeds will go.
If a deal to buy Chelsea is not closed on time, the club could be excluded from club competitions next season or even face the renewed threat of administration.
Abramovich and his advisers reached an agreement earlier this month with a group majority-funded by Clearlake Capital, a Californian investment firm, and spearheaded by the LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.
The sale would bring the curtain down on Abramovich’s 19-year tenure as the owner of Chelsea, who lost to Liverpool on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup Final.