Abramovich DENIES loan repayment request, Boehly closes in on Chelsea deal, Ratcliffe still wants to buy Blues – latest

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH has reiterated that he is NOT demanding the repayment of his £1.6bn loan to Chelsea.

And the sanctioned Blues owner insisted he has engaged with the Government to discuss how the promised charity donation from the sale should be carried out.

Government sources hinted that Abramovich had made a U-turn on his initial pledged and demanded the money that had kept the Blues going for the past 19 years was paid to a Jersey-based company as part of the sale deal.

Meanwhile, Sir Jim Ratcliffe is not giving up on his Chelsea bid without a fight and has begged the club to consider his offer.

The British petrochemicals mogul, 69, has vowed to improve Stamford Bridge as it exists rather than build a new stadium as Roman Abramovich had planned to.

Boehly has reportedly been named as the preferred bidder for Chelsea despite a last-gasp £4billion bid from Ratcliffe.

And Boehly’s team were told they had been granted a “period of exclusivity” to discuss the final terms and conditions of a takeover package.

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Keep up to date with all of the latest gossip from the takeover in our live blog…

  • Justin Lawrence

    Chelsea eye Rudiger/Christensen replacement

    Chelsea are plotting a transfer move for RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol to help fill the void left by departing duo Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

    The Premier League giants are desperate for reinforcements and have identified several targets.

    And Goal claims that they have earmarked Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

    The Croatian international, 20, is reportedly “seen as a good option to play on the left side of a back three” for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

  • Gary Stonehouse

    Good morning Chelsea fans

    Departing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has maintained he is NOT demanding the repayment of his £1.6billion loan to the club.

    Abramovich insisted he has engaged with the UK government to discuss how the promised charity donation from the sale should be carried out.

    Government sources hinted that the Russian oligarch had made a U-turn on his initial pledge and demanded the money that had kept the West Londoners going for the past 19 years was paid to a Jersey-based company as part of the sale deal.

    The consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is understood to be close to completing the final details of the package, despite the last-gasp bid by Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

    But the entire process was seemingly imperilled by the claims that Abramovich was now demanding some financial compensation for being effectively forced to sell up after being branded an acolyte and supporter of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, Boehly is "very close" to taking over at Chelsea with Ratcliffe’s late rival bid allegedly “not under consideration”.

    That is according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, who claims the US-based bank Raine, who are handling the takeover process for Abramovich, are not exploring any other "alternative options".

    Jacobs tweeted: “Boehly-Clearlake takeover of Chelsea is now very close to completion. Raine sources tell me Wednesday talks were ‘highly productive and no alternative options are being explored’.

    “Sources within Boehly-Clearlake say they’ve remained ‘calm’ and are confident they will own”

    But Sir Jim has told the Raine Group not to brush off his offer to buy the club.

    Ratcliffe wants the group to factor in that his company is British and want the best for the club.

    Sir Jim said, reported by the BBC: "My message to Raine is don't discount our offer.

    "We are British and have great intentions for Chelsea. If I was Raine I wouldn't close any door."

    Finally, West Ham are planning a move for Chelsea wonderkid Armando Broja this summer following his loan spell at Southampton, reports SunSport's Jack Rosser.

    No transfers can happen before the Blues' ownership crisis is solved but, once resolved, SunSport understands that Saints could quickly try to tie up a deal with Broja.

    That is if they are willing to offer the forward similar wages to team-mates Che Adams and Adam Armstrong.

    But the Hammers are set to rival Southampton and could win the transfer war with the offer of European football.

    Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have also registered an interest in the Albania international.

    West Ham boss David Moyes has made it clear he wants to add quality to his squad this summer as he is short of options in attack

  • Kostas Lianos

    Good morning Chelsea fans

    Departing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has maintained he is NOT demanding the repayment of his £1.6billion loan to the club.

    Abramovich insisted he has engaged with the UK government to discuss how the promised charity donation from the sale should be carried out.

    Government sources hinted that the Russian oligarch had made a U-turn on his initial pledge and demanded the money that had kept the West Londoners going for the past 19 years was paid to a Jersey-based company as part of the sale deal.

    The consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is understood to be close to completing the final details of the package, despite the last-gasp bid by Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

    But the entire process was seemingly imperilled by the claims that Abramovich was now demanding some financial compensation for being effectively forced to sell up after being branded an acolyte and supporter of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, Boehly is "very close" to taking over at Chelsea with Ratcliffe’s late rival bid allegedly “not under consideration”.

    That is according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, who claims the US-based bank Raine, who are handling the takeover process for Abramovich, are not exploring any other "alternative options".

    Jacobs tweeted: “Boehly-Clearlake takeover of Chelsea is now very close to completion. Raine sources tell me Wednesday talks were ‘highly productive and no alternative options are being explored’.

    “Sources within Boehly-Clearlake say they’ve remained ‘calm’ and are confident they will own”

    But Sir Jim has told the Raine Group not to brush off his offer to buy the club.

    Ratcliffe wants the group to factor in that his company is British and want the best for the club.

    Sir Jim said, reported by the BBC: "My message to Raine is don't discount our offer.

    "We are British and have great intentions for Chelsea. If I was Raine I wouldn't close any door."

    Finally, West Ham are planning a move for Chelsea wonderkid Armando Broja this summer following his loan spell at Southampton, reports SunSport's Jack Rosser.

    No transfers can happen before the Blues' ownership crisis is solved but, once resolved, SunSport understands that Saints could quickly try to tie up a deal with Broja.

    That is if they are willing to offer the forward similar wages to team-mates Che Adams and Adam Armstrong.

    But the Hammers are set to rival Southampton and could win the transfer war with the offer of European football.

    Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have also registered an interest in the Albania international.

    West Ham boss David Moyes has made it clear he wants to add quality to his squad this summer as he is short of options in attack

  • Kostas Lianos

    Push and Pul

    Juventus are targeting Chelsea star Christian Pulisic ahead of the summer transfer window.

    Pulisic has found game time difficult to come by this season, starting just ten league matches.

    That means the forward may be open to moving with Juve keen to strike a deal, according to Tuttosport.

    The Bianconeri reportedly view the USA international as a potential replacement for Paulo Dybala, who is set to leave on a free in the summer

  • Kostas Lianos

    Still a Lott to give

    Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed that he will "probably retire" after his second spell at the Santiago Bernabeu ends.

    But former Chelsea boss Ancelotti then immediately threw a curveball by saying he would happily spend another ten years at Real if the newly-crowned LaLiga champions want him to.

    Ancelotti told Amazon Prime: “After this Real Madrid chapter, I will probably retire.

    “But if Real wants me to stay here for 10 years, I’ll stay another 10 years.

    "I would like to be with my grandchildren, to go on holiday with my wife. There are so many things to do that I’ve had to put aside.

    “The national team in the future can be an option. Canada? Why not? I’d like it.

    "There’s a lot of places I’ve never been to. I’ve never been to Australia. I’ve never been to Rio de Janeiro. I want to go visit my sister more often.

    "Unfortunately you can’t do everything, so the day I retire, I’ll have all these things to do”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Chelsea Blue-min' hell

    Chelsea stars N'Golo Kante and Jorginho are about to enter the final year of their contracts.

    SunSport's Andy Dillon reports that the Blues are worried midfield pair will quit as the club'stakeover reaches crisis point.

    Jorginho especially has voiced a desire to return to his homeland before retiring and team-mates fear he may go this summer to add to the domino effect in the dressing room.

    Antonio Rudiger is set to join Real Madrid, while Andreas Christensen and captain Cesar Azpilicueta are likely to join Barcelona as their deals are expiring in June

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    On the beach

    Chelsea ace Andreas Christensen is reportedly house hunting in Barcelona.

    Christensen is out of contract at Stamford Bridge come the end of the season and he can join another club for free with Barca posing as favourites.

    According to Mundo Deportivo, the Blaugrana have won the race for the centre-back's signature.

    The Denmark international has instructed his Barcelona-based advisors to undertake the search and put proposals before him once the season with Chelsea has finished.

    The report goes on to state that the 26-year-old hasn't shown a preference on where he wants to live.

    Options close to Barca's Ciutat Esportiva training ground, the beach or in the city itself will be considered by Christensen

  • Kostas Lianos

    Benitez Terr up

    Chelsea legend John Terry revealed former interim manager Rafa Benitez told club chiefs during his brief tenure at Stamford Bridge that the former captain "had to go".

    But then Benitez left in the summer of 2013 and was replaced by Jose Mourinho, who called Terry and promised him that he would be his skipper going forward.

    Posting a picture on Instagram holding the Premier League trophy, the former defender wrote: "Champions 2015. I played every single game the season after Rafa told the club I had to go and I couldn’t play two games a week…

    "I then had a phone call from Jose Mourinho telling me he was coming and I was his captain"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Hazard financial update

    Chelsea will be hoping Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the Champions League Final and net themselves a tidy windfall.

    That is because of a clause on Eden Hazard's contract with Real after he left the Blues in 2019.

    The Blues accepted an £88.5million offer from Los Blancos for Hazard – with the deal having significant extra payments that could take the full price to a massive £130m.

    And one of those included an extra cash windfall should Real taste Champions League success while the winger is at the club.

    The West Londoners have already benefited in the past, scooping nearly £20m in 2020 as Madrid claimed the LaLiga title and qualified for the Champions League

  • Kostas Lianos

    Kepa's stable relationship

    Chelsea ace Kepa Arrizabalaga shared some sweet snaps of him and his Miss Universe girlfriend Andrea Martinez riding horses.

    Kepa has been dating Martinez for some time, but the couple went public with their relationship in January.

    And the couple's latest adventure saw them saddle up for a romantic date on horseback.

    Posting two shots of himself with Martinez to his Instagram account, Kepa wrote "Riders," alongside a horse emoji

  • Kostas Lianos

    You are Arman

    West Ham are planning a move for Chelsea wonderkid Armando Broja this summer following his loan spell at Southampton, reports SunSport's Jack Rosser.

    No transfers can happen before the Blues' ownership crisis is solved but, once resolved, SunSport understands that Saints could quickly try to tie up a deal.

    That is if they are willing to offer Broja similar wages to team-mates Che Adams and Adam Armstrong.

    But the Hammers are set to rival Southampton and could win the bidding war with the offer of European football.

    Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have also registered an interest in the forward.

    West Ham manager David Moyes has made it clear he wants to add quality to his squad this summer as he is short of options in attack

  • James Orr

    Abramovich statement continues

    The statement added: “Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him.

    “Such suggestions are entirely false, as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the Club last minute. 

    “As part of Mr Abramovich’s objective to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, he has however encouraged each bidder throughout this process to commit investing in the Club – including in the Academy, Women’s team, necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of Chelsea Foundation.

    “Following sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr Abramovich by the UK since announcing that the Club would be sold, the loan has also become subject to EU sanctions, requiring additional approvals. 

    “That means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by authorities. 

    “These funds are still earmarked for the Foundation. The Government are aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications.”

    The forthright response was a further unexpected twist and the spokesman went on: “To be clear, Mr Abramovich has no access or control of these funds and will not have any access or control of these funds following the sale. 

    “Despite the changing circumstances since his initial announcement – he remains committed to finding a good custodian for Chelsea FC and making sure the proceeds go to good causes.”

  • James Orr

    Abramovich statement continues

    Now, though, Abramovich has come out fighting, with a statement posted on the Chelsea website that dismissed those claims.

    A spokesman for the Russian said: “Firstly, Mr Abramovich’s intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed.

    “Since the initial announcement, Mr Abramovich’s team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organisations who have been tasked with forming a Foundation and setting out a plan for its activities. 

    “The lead independent expert has had conversations with Government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans."

    “Mr Abramovich has not been involved in this work and it has been managed independently by experts with years of experience working in humanitarian organisations.”

  • James Orr

    Roman Abramovich releases statement

    Roman Abramovich has maintained he is NOT demanding the repayment of his £1.6bn loan to Chelsea.

    And the sanctioned Blues owner insisted he has engaged with the Government to discuss how the promised charity donation from the sale should be carried out.

    Government sources hinted that Abramovich had made a U-turn on his initial pledged and demanded the money that had kept the Blues going for the past 19 years was paid to a Jersey-based company as part of the sale deal.

    The consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly is understood to be close to completing the final details of the package, despite the last-gasp bid by Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

    But the entire process was seemingly imperilled by the claims that Abramovich was now demanding some financial compensation for being effectively forced to sell up after being branded an acolyte and supporter of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Kostas Lianos

    Blue soon

    Chelsea wonderkids Armando Broja and Levi Colwill are waiting on the club’s future before they can have their own sorted out, reports SunSport's Tom Barclay.

    The Blues are currently in the midst of a takeover process as departing owner Roman Abramovich sells up.

    The West Londoners are unable to buy or sell players, or offer new contracts, while the sanctioned Abramovich remains at the helm but should new ownership be green lit, then those rules will be removed.

    Broja has hit nine goals on loan at Southampton, though his form has tailed off of late and he last hit the back of the net at the beginning of March.

    Colwill, on the other hand, has shone on loan at Huddersfield, who have qualified for the Championship play-offs

  • Kostas Lianos

    Ratcliffe Chelsea plea

    Chelsea bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe has told the Raine Group not to brush off his offer to buy the club.

    The US-based company are handling the sale of the Blues, and Ratcliffe wants the group to factor in that his company is British and want the best for the club.

    Sir Jim said, reported by the BBC: "My message to Raine is don't discount our offer.

    "We are British and have great intentions for Chelsea. If I was Raine I wouldn't close any door"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Todd Boehly takeover reminder

    Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly is "very close" to taking over atChelsea with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s late rival bid allegedly “not under consideration”.

    That is according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs,  who claims the US-based bank Raine, who are handling the takeover for departing owner Roman Abramovich, are not exploring any other "alternative options".

    Jacobs tweeted: “Boehly-Clearlake takeover of Chelsea is now very close to completion. Raine sources tell me Wednesday talks were ‘highly productive and no alternative options are being explored’.

    “Sources within Boehly-Clearlake say they’ve remained ‘calm’ and are confident they will own”

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Justin Lawrence

    Man of the Match

    Mason Mount has been Chelsea's best performer this season, stats have revealed.

    The England star has received six Man of the Match awards, according to Who's Scored.

    Behind Mount is Hakim Ziyech, Jorginho, and Reece James, who all have won the prize three times, the report added.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Emerson Palmieri Chelsea return

    Emerson Palmieri will return to Chelsea this summer.

    The defender is on loan at Lyon but is set to jet back to London when the season ends.

    But his return to Stamford Bridge will be fleeting as Juventus are keen to sign him, according to TuttoSport.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Tuchel 'open to Lukaku sale'

    Thomas Tuchel reckons Chelsea are stronger without Romelu Lukaku in the side.

    The Blues are a more 'potent force' when Lukaku's on the bench, according to ESPN.

    Which is why Tuchel's open to offloading the Belgium international to spend the money on other areas that need strengthening, the report also claims.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Dybala mobbed by Juve pleas

    Chelsea transfer target Paulo Dybala has been urged not to join Inter Milan by Juventus fans.

    Dybala was signing autographs ahead of Juve training when fans bombarded him with pleas of: "Please don’t join Inter," and, "Why are you going to Inter?," Football Italia reported.

    The hot-shot striker simply smiled but didn't respond to the demands of the Juve supporters.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Hak some of that

    Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of PSG ace Achraf Hakimi.

    The Blues have been tracking the right-back for a while.

    But he's got no intentions of leaving PSG anytime soon, according to his agent Alexandro Camano.

    Camano said, via Fabrizio Romano: "He's happy there, we have 4 years left on our contract with PSG.

    “Achraf’s young and wants to continue growing at Paris Saint Germain."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Chelsea issued top-four warning

    Chelsea could lose their spot in the league to Arsenal.

    Chelsea are in third at the moment, but Gunners legend Michael Thomas reckons his former club can pip the Blues for the position.

    He said to CaughtOffside: “Chelsea are in a tough position because they had third wrapped up for so long that they took got too relaxed and now it’s looking very open again.

    “I do think they will still qualify for the Champions League, but as you can see, it can quite easily change at any game week.

    “As for Arsenal, they should just be looking to win all their remaining games and see where that leaves them.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Chelsea's European might claims

    Chelsea have been named as one of the six clubs stronger than Juventus in Europe.

    That's the opinion of Juve boss Max Allegri.

    Allegri told Football Italia: “Juventus have reached the Final twice in the last 10 years.

    "Of course, we have changed a lot and we can’t always obtain the same results.

    “I’ve said it many times. Six teams are much stronger than others: Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Boehly close to Chelsea takeover 

    Todd Boehly's Chelsea takeover is reportedly “close” with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s late rival bid allegedly “not under consideration”.

    CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has offered a fresh update on Twitter – and it looks to be good news for the Stamford Bridge faithful.

    He wrote: “Boehly-Clearlake takeover of Chelsea is now very close to completion. Raine sources tell me Wednesday talks were ‘highly productive and no alternative options are being explored’.

    “Sources within Boehly-Clearlake say they’ve remained ‘calm’ and are confident they will own #CFC.”

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