​Britain's richest man, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has not ruled out purchasing Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, hinting that he is still interested in a takeover of the Blues, while speaking in an event on Wednesday.


Rumours of Abramovich putting the club up for sale have been increasing over the past year, with a bid from Saudi Arabia also previously touted as a possibility.

Reports last year claimed that Ratcliffe was given a tour of Chelsea's Cobham training base, but he has so far not been prepared to meet the £4bn valuation set by Abramovich. However, despite a statement from Chelsea claiming that ​the club is not for sale, Ratcliffe seems undeterred in his pursuit of the west London club.


Ratcliffe, a self-proclaimed 'tortured Manchester United fan', is a chemical engineer and businessman. His company, Ineos chemicals group, has an estimated turnover of $80bn, while he was named the richest person in the UK in 2018, with an estimated net worth of £21bn.


Speaking to the ​BBC in the Yorkshire Dales on Wednesday, at the launch of Team INEOS, a professional cycling team he took over from Sky, Ratcliffe talked about his interest in football, admitting when pressed on Chelsea specifically: "I'd never say no, but I don't know where those conversations will finish up.

Chelsea FC v Burnley FC - Premier League

"I am a big ​Manchester United fan. In fact, I am a tortured Manchester United fan at the moment to be honest."


Ratcliffe bought Swiss second-tier football club FC Lausanne-Sport in 2017, and seems interested in continuing to explore the world of professional football after gaining some experience.


"We have dipped our toe in the water with football," he added. "It's a very different sport, quite a complicated sport, a complicated world.

"We are in the process of learning about it. We bought this club in Switzerland and it has been really educational. We haven't got to where we are in the chemicals and business world by being impetuous, rash and stupid.


"We recognised it is a very complex world, we are going through the process of learning and we are not in a desperate hurry to get to the end game."


With Chelsea's future still unclear, they will have to put everything aside on Thursday as they travel to Germany to ​face Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals.