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Hands off: Roman Abramovich 'RULES OUT' rumored Chelsea sale

Hands off: Roman Abramovich 'RULES OUT' rumored Chelsea sale
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has ruled out the long-rumored sale of the Premier League side he purchased in 2003, despite his visa woes with the UK government.

'Close associates' of the club say it is no longer on the market after they received no serious bids during the 18 months in which Russian billionaire Abramovich was thought to be amenable to selling his stake in the multiple-time Premier League champions, according to The Telegraph

It is claimed that a Middle Eastern consortium balked at the supposed £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) price quoted to them, particularly given a proposed redevelopment of the club's Stamford Bridge stadium which may cost around £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) independent of any costs associated with a takeover.

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"Any Chelsea [sale] is off the the table as far as Roman is concerned," The Telegraph quoted a source as saying. "He is genuinely very pleased with how things are. Chelsea's academy is being promoted and this is what he has wanted for some time and it's finally working."

The source also stated that the pursuit of trophies is no longer Abramovich's sole motivation in his ownership of the club and that he wants to be involved with a young team playing eye-catching football. 

Abramovich was thought to be considering a sale, given an ongoing visa issue with the UK government which has prohibited him from attending games in West London but the billionaire owner is understood to have been heartened by the club's performances under new head coach Frank Lampard and has been persuaded to continue in his role as the club's chief benefactor. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, sounded out the club's interest in a sale before eventually purchasing Ligue 1 side Nice while Silver Lake, a US private equity firm, is also understood to have explored the possibility of making a bid. 

Also on rt.com 'Chelsea need Roman Abramovich back': Blues legend Ivanovic calls for owner's return to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea face a stern test this weekend when they face last season's champions Manchester City. A win for Lampard's side will put them four points ahead of Pep Guardiola's side - an achievement made more impressive by the transfer ban currently levied against the club as well as the sale of star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. 

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