Abramovich ‘Rejects’ Middle East Takeover of Chelsea

Roman Abramovich

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly turned down an offer from a consortium based in the Middle East to buy the club.

Abramovich, once a regular fixture in the directors’ box at Stamford Bridge, has been locked in a visa row with the UK government in recent months and hasn’t been seen around the club.

The issue fuelled speculation that he may look to sell the Premier League giants, but The Telegraph now claim that the Russian rejected a big money offer towards the end of last season.

According to the report, the 52-year-old, who bought the Blues back in 2003, has no intention of selling the club.

However, one Moscow-based connection told The Telegraph: ‘Roman simply wants at least £3billion before he will start listening.’

Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, was strongly linked with a bid for Chelsea before completing a takeover at French club Lille last summer.

US and Asian-based consortia are also said to have have shown interest in a deal for the west London club.

Last week former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson revealed he encouraged Abramovich to buy Chelsea instead of Tottenham 16 years ago.

The Swede told The Times: ‘Tottenham or Chelsea? I said, “What does he want to do?” He said he wants to win.

‘I said, “So buy Chelsea. You have to change half the team. Tottenham you have to change the whole team.”’

Under Frank Lampard the Blues are currently fourth in the Premier League table, eight points off leaders Liverpool.