Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly met with American businessman and Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen, as he considers selling the London club due to personal financial issues.
The Russian billionaire bought Chelsea in 2003 and his funding turned them into world beaters in short order. However, he could be resigned to parting ways with his beloved club as he is said to harbour fears the US could make him a target.
The year hasn't gone well for Abramovich, with the Blues finishing fifth in the Premier League standings at the end of last season, issues with former boss Antonio Conte and the timeliness of his replacing. And then there are the visa issues which has kept him out of England for months.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the businessman - who has since secured Israeli citizenship - is looking for a buyer for the club. With the political climate over Russia and the US not a very positive one as of late, the 51-year-old fears he could become a target for America and would rather sell Chelsea in an effort to ready his finances.
Further reports from Euro United indicate that he met with Allen, the owner of the Portland Trailblazers NBA team, in New York, where he supposedly discussed a sale, earlier this month.
Roman Abramovitch cherche à vendre Chelsea depuis quelques mois pour cause de problème financiers. Pini Zahavi a le mandat de vente du club.— Euro United (@EuroUnited6) September 27, 2018
Début Septembre, une réunion avec Paul Allen propriétaire de la franchise NBA des Portland Blazers a eu lieue à New York. pic.twitter.com/o2k9Sm4t7V
Translation: "Roman Abramovich has been looking to sell Chelsea for a few months because of financial problems. Pini Zahavi (football agent) has the sales mandate of the club.
"In early September, a meeting with Paul Allen owner of the Portland Blazers NBA franchise was held in New York."
Abramovich wants at least £3bn for the Premier League football club and is said to have already rejected an offer of $2.3bn. If he does get £3bn, the sale would mark a world-record fee for a sports team.
There have been denials of an intent to sell Chelsea from sources close to the Russian businessman, yet speculation continues to intensify. The Blues owner, though, is still pumping cash into the club and recently took his personal investment to a £1.2bn total.