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The fall of the Roman Empire? Chelsea's Abramovich seeking king's ransom for Chelsea sale

The fall of the Roman Empire? Chelsea's Abramovich seeking king's ransom for Chelsea sale
Britain's richest man, petrochemical billionaire Sir James Ratcliffe, who has been linked with a takeover of Premier League side Chelsea, has reportedly been put off by owner Roman Abramovich's exorbitant asking price.

According to reports on Tuesday, Abramovich –who'd purchased Chelsea from its former chairman Ken Bates in 2003– is thought to be mulling over a decision to sell the Premier League side.

These rumors are thought to have once again piqued the interest of Ratcliffe, whose fortune is understood to stretch past the €20bn mark and who reportedly failed with a bid for the West London club last summer. 

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This time around, though, Abramovich, whose attendance at Stamford Bridge has been severely limited due to visa issues, is potentially more likely to consider a deal should his valuation of the club be met – however, the €2.9bn ($3.3bn) asking price is thought to be too rich even for an investor of Ratcliffe's wealth.

Ratcliffe is close to completing a takeover deal for cycling outfit Team Sky, which he will rename Team Ineos after the business empire in which he made his billions and, according to The Times, the 66-year-old wants to add Chelsea to his expanding sporting portfolio.

Chelsea have publicly maintained that the club is not for sale despite Abramovich suspending plans to redevelop their stadium in the wake of his visa expiry and subsequent wrangles to have it renewed. He has since obtained an Israeli passport to ensure he can visit England.

The fall of the Roman Empire? Chelsea's Abramovich seeking king's ransom for Chelsea sale

Despite that, suggestions are that, if a sizeable offer is received for the club, Abramovich would be amenable to selling the club in which he has invested significant sums of money, particularly with further investment required to upgrade their stadium.

Chelsea also face a FIFA-imposed transfer ban that forbids them from registering new players in the next two transfer windows, as well as the the seemingly inevitable departure of star-player and talisman Eden Hazard this summer.

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