Four Chelsea bidders – including Ricketts family, Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly

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Chelsea have whittled their list of potential buyers to a shortlist of four, and reports claim they will all hold talks with manager Thomas Tuchel and director Marina Granovskaia before any takeover.

The European champions are searching for new owners after the club was put up for sale by Roman Abramovich before he was sanctioned by the UK government for his alleged links with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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Tuchel will hold talks with potential Chelsea buyers

There was a host of interest, but Chelsea have now narrowed down their search of potential buyers to four consortiums, with the sale of the Blues being partly handled by merchant bank Raine Group.

The club will choose from a group involving Seb Coe, former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton and two American businessmen.

Another option is LA Dodgers shareholder Todd Boehly and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss’ coalition.

The Ricketts family – owners of MLB franchise Chicago Cubs – are also still being considered, despite a recent fan backlash.

There has been plenty of opposition to the Ricketts bid after the family’s patriarch, Joe Ricketts, was accused of Islamophobia three years ago.

The Ricketts family has since said it ‘rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms’.

Joe Ricketts hit the headlines in 2019 when a series of controversial emails were leaked

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Joe Ricketts hit the headlines in 2019 when a series of controversial emails were leaked

Broughton is one of the leading contenders to win the race for Chelsea, having been part of Liverpool’s transition from Hicks and Gillett to current owners Fenway Sports Group

Dave Pinegar – The Sun

Broughton is one of the leading contenders to win the race for Chelsea, having been part of Liverpool’s transition from Hicks and Gillett to current owners Fenway Sports Group

Stephen Pagliuca, owner of NBA team Boston Celtics and Serie A club Atalanta, is also being considered having progressed to the next stage.

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British property tycoon Nick Candy – a lifelong Blues fan – has not been shortlisted, but has since been discussing the possibility of joining another bid.

Woody Johnson, owner of the NFL team New York Jets, also failed to make it onto the shortlist despite initially being seen as a strong contender.

According to The Times, all parties will be given the opportunity to hold talks with manager Tuchel and director Granovskaia.

The latter is close to Abramovich and oversees the club’s transfer business and will be vital in the negotiations.

Blues CEO Marina Granovskaia will also be around the negotiations table

Blues CEO Marina Granovskaia will also be around the negotiations table

Tuchel is hoping for a swift takeover with his transfer plans derailed by the current sanctions.

Interestingly, Pagliuca’s interest comes late and he is co-chair of private equity group Bain Capital. His personal fortune is around £3bn, which is much less than some of his competitors.

The fact he holds a 55 per cent stake in Serie A outfit Atalanta, however, could be a stumbling block with both sides in the Champions League, and UEFA rules go against this.

Boehly, part-owner of seven-time World Series winners LA Dodgers, is also backed by Swiss partner Hansjorg Wyss and British businessman Jonathan Goldstein.

Four consortiums have been narrowed down to buy the club from Abramovich

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Four consortiums have been narrowed down to buy the club from Abramovich

Ex-Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Coe are an another consortium in the running, and are being funded by Crystal Palace shareholders David Blitzer and Josh Harris.

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The Ricketts family are still in contention despite the recent controversy surrounding their bid and have since partnered with Ken Griffin, who is worth around £20bn, and remain confident they can secure a deal for the club.

The consortium led by Boehly and the group fronted by Broughton and Coe are believed to be the two early frontrunners to buy the club, according to reports.

Former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton is a main candidate

Former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton is a main candidate

“It is essential that the new owners of the club has the confidence of the supporter base and demonstrate an understanding of the values that we stand for,” read a recent statement from the Chelsea Supporters Trust, in response to the Ricketts bid.

“That is why the strength of feeling towards the Ricketts family bud from Chelsea supporters cannot and must not be ignored.”

They also added after discussions with the family: “Our concerns about their ability to run an inclusive, successful club on behalf of our diverse supporter base around the world have not yet been allayed.”

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