Abramovich is currently trying to sell Premier League giants Chelsea, who he has owned for the past 19 years after the government of the United Kingdom sanctioned him for being an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin is currently invading neighbouring Ukraine with Russia’s armed forces, leading to various sanctions on Russia’s economic activities with the rest of Europe as well as Putin’s allies in and outside the country.
Chelsea were hit with sanctions for being owned by Abramovich as well, and the Russian oligarch has chosen to sell the club and exit the UK totally in order to allow the club to function normally once more. The sanctions have affected how the club is run and have also deprived fans of attending home matches at Stamford Bridge to support the team.
Abramovich put a £3.5 billion price tag on the club and different bidders are currently trying to outdo each other in the bidding process being overseen by United States merchant bank, Raine Group.
It was widely believed that Abramovich would leave football after the sale of Chelsea but reports from Spain now claim that the billionaire is trying to get back into the game by acquiring Valencia, who are in a big financial mess of their own.
Spanish outlet Plaza Deportiva reports that a letter attributed to Miguel Zorio, one of the bidders for Valencia, states that the Russian is competing with him to buy the LaLiga club once the oligarch completes the sale of the Blues.
Zorio’s letter reportedly reads: “Peter Lim has tried to sell the club in London for €250 million and has not succeeded. Lately, he has leaked to international media that he has two purchase offers, mine and that of the Russian oligarch of Chelsea. And from here, I tell him that either he puts €50 million every year to compensate for the losses he generates or he sells to us. Whether he likes it or not.”
Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea is expected to be completed later than initially expected due to the final four bidders being given one last opportunity to improve their bids. Sky News reports that Raine Group has given an ultimatum of next week for the improved bids to be submitted.
At this point, Chelsea are unable to negotiate new contracts with any players whose contracts are up in the summer due to the sanctions placed on them. If the sale doesn’t go through, the Blues will not be able to make any significant transfer moves come summer and could lose all their players with expiring contracts on a free.
Meanwhile, Valencia are already too deep in a financial rut to attempt any form of transfer dealings. The 2019 Copa Del Rey winners will have to be sold to be able to function properly next season and not go into administration.