Roman Abramovich is considering the sale of Chelsea Football Club but he will only accept a world-record offer, according to reports from the United States.
Bloomberg Businessweek claims that the Russian-Israeli businessman, who has been Chelsea owner since 2003, is considering the sale as he grows frustrated with his British visa problems and concerned about being targeted by the USA.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has avoided Britain for months and is preparing his finances to skirt the threat of American sanctions. He wants £3 billion for Chelsea but so far no one has offered him enough to sell his beloved football club. https://t.co/8wRxhXpGFE via @BW— Stephanie Baker (@StephaniBaker) September 25, 2018
Abramovich's tier one business visa was rescinded in May as the UK government took sanctions against Russia following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
Within a matter of weeks Abramovich had successfully applied for Israeli citizenship, allowing him free passage to the UK for six months at a time. However, he cannot work in the UK without a British visa, which he will struggle to get in the current political climate.
According to Bloomberg, Abramovich hired Raine Group LLC, a merchant bank in New York, to advise on a partial or total sale of Chelsea earlier this year.
Despite being open to a sale, Abramovich may have difficulty finding a buyer as he has set the asking price very high. He has already rejected bids in excess of $2.3bn - which would be a world-record price for a sports team - and is holding out for £3bn.
The relationship between Russia and the United States is also causing uncertainty, with Abramovich worried that the US could expand sanctions against wealthy Russians and target him personally.
Last month it was reported that Abramovich was still putting money into Chelsea and had taken his personal investment in the club up to £1.2bn with a fresh injection of cash.