Todd Boehly and Hansjörg Wyss have submitted their offer to buy Chelsea but they are yet to convince Roman Abramovich to sell the club to their consortium.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale last week and is considering how to proceed after receiving an opening proposal from the consortium fronted by Boehly and Wyss. The size of the offer remains unknown but is unlikely to be significantly higher than £2bn. Wyss, an 86-year-old Swiss billionaire, has gone on the record to say that Abramovich’s asking price is too high.
It has been reported that Abramovich, who has faced calls in parliament for him to be hit with sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine, is looking for as much as £4bn. It remains to be seen whether the Russian, who is keen for a sale to go through quickly, will accept a significantly lower fee.
Beyond the finances, Wyss and Boehly must convince Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in 2003, that they are the right people to take the club forward. One well-placed figure suggesting that Abramovich is unsure about selling to them.
Wyss and Boehly, who part-owns the LA Dodgers, are sitting tight as they await a response. The identities of the other figures who have formed their consortium remain unknown.
Abramovich, who vehemently denies allegations linking him to Vladimir Putin and the Russian state or that he has done anything to merit sanctions, has appointed the New York-based bank Raine to oversee the sale. Interested parties have been given until 15 March to submit bids. It is unlikely Abramovich would be permitted to sell Chelsea if the UK government imposed sanctions on him.
There has been speculation that Chelsea’s next owners will come from America. Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets, is reportedly readying a bid. However Muhsin Bayrak, a Turkish businessman, last week signalled his interest in buying Chelsea and on Tuesday said he would hold further talks with Abramovich’s representatives on Thursday.
The uncertainty at Chelsea could have an impact on contract negotiations with Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta. Barcelona are close to signing Christensen on a free, although Bayern Munich have not pulled out of the race for the Denmark defender. Barça are also confident Azpilicueta will strengthen their defence on a free.