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New Chelsea owner could be known this week as sale deadline approaches

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T

he next owner of Chelsea could become clearer this week, with potential buyers informed a sale could go through rapidly.

US merchant bank Raine Group has extended the deadline for official bids to Friday, with a host of interested parties already coming forward.

Despite Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK Government and having his assets frozen, the planned sale of the European champions is still going ahead.

At present, Chelsea still do not have permission to sell up as part of the special licence they have been granted to continue football operations.

But it is understood the Government are open to allowing a sale to go through, so long as no funds go to Abramovich.

UK property tycoon Nick Candy has confirmed he is trying to buy the club and plans to appoint a fan representative to the board if successful.

However, he faces stiff competition, with the US-Swiss consortium of Todd Boehly and Hansjorg Wyss already lodging a bid, while a Saudi Media-led consortium are also making a move to buy out Abramovich.

The Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson are also interested parties in what is turning into a crowded field.

But the price looks certain to come in well below Abramovich’s initial valuation of £4billion.

A figure of £2.5bn appears to be the benchmark, which is what Candy is ready to bid.

Raine Group extended the deadline by three days after the process was halted due to Abramovich’s sanctions.

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