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Roman Abramovich puts Chelsea up for sale eyes £3BILLION

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Roman Abramovich has instructed American bank the Raine Group to handle the sale of Chelsea.

It is understood that the Russian is targeting American buyers as investment from China, the Far East and Eastern Europe has dried up for clear political reasons, although there are major doubts that any potential buyer will meet his £3billion valuation.

The Raine Group first acted for Chelsea in 2018 after talks with US private equity firm Silverlake and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe broke up without reaching an agreement.

The club has effectively been for sale ever since due to Abramovich’s conflict with the UK government after the Home Office declined to issue him a visa, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine giving him fresh impetus to sell.

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Chelsea declined to comment. Abramovich wants a minimum of £3billion to sell Chelsea as he invites bids for the club.

But there are emerging doubts that the Russian oligarch will receive anywhere near that mark.

There is a sense that securing an American buyer, potentially through a hedge fund, might be the best route towards a sale. But Abramovich’s links with a Russian regime that has caused so much destruction in Ukraine could lead to reluctance from interested parties to deal with Chelsea.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer questioned Boris Johnson in Parliament on why Abramovich hasn’t yet faced sanctions, with the Prime Minister saying: ‘It is not appropriate to comment on individual cases at this stage’

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Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, worth £4.3bn, claims he has been approached to consider buying Chelsea, potentially as part of a consortium.

Speaking to Swiss newspaper Blick, Wyss said: ‘Like all other oligarchs, he (Abramovich) is also in a panic. Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas 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.

‘I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2bn.

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