Newcastle director Jamie Reuben one of 20 parties interested in buying Chelsea

Jamie Spencer
Chelsea could soon become the subject of a bidding war
Chelsea could soon become the subject of a bidding war / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Jamie Reuben, whose father and uncle – the Reuben Brothers – own around 10% of Newcastle United, is understood to be one of 20 parties interested in buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich initially opted to try and hand control of the club to the trustees of its charitable foundation. But once that move failed, the Russian oligarch, who bought the Blues in 2003 and has bankrolled years of success, opted to sell altogether.

The opportunity to buy one of the world’s leading football clubs is not one that often comes around and potential investors have been racing against each other to put together viable proposals. Bloomberg has reported there are so far ‘around 20 potential bidders in the process’.

One of those interested parties is Reuben, 90min can confirm, who is considering whether to mount a bid for Chelsea on an individual basis - although any offer could also use some of his family’s wealth.

Should any offer be made, the source of the finances would have to be closely assessed by the Premier League amid the family’s stake in Newcastle - as rules dictate a person cannot acquire more than 10% in a club if they already own a stake in another club.

At the very least, Jamie Reuben would need to relinquish control and ties he has with Newcastle.

American billionaire Todd Boehly is also trying to wrestle control of Chelsea away from Abramovich, and the Daily Telegraph writes that his proposal, which also involves Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, has been submitted through designated New York merchant bank Raine. A response from Chelsea and Abramovich is yet to be made.

Boehly is a part-owner of the LA Dodgers and his personal wealth is in the region of $6bn (£4.5bn).

However, competition to become Chelsea’s new owner extends further. The Daily Mail notes that British property tycoon Nick Candy is working on a £2.5bn bid of his own – his plans are even said to include a £1.5bn redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, which is seen as key to the club’s future.

A statement from Candy’s people told the newspaper that he is ‘actively exploring’ several options.

The £2.5bn figure is short of the £3bn asking price but would still be ‘credible’ in the circumstances, with Abramovich seemingly looking for a quick sale amid the possibility of being sanctioned by the UK government in the coming weeks.

Candy, who would be backed by international partners in any takeover, is himself a lifelong Chelsea fan. He is personally estimated to be worth around £830m, or around £1.5bn in partnership with younger brother Christian, also a property mogul.

Other rumoured suitors at this stage include the Ricketts family, who own baseball team Chicago Cubs, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, and a Saudi Arabian-based media company.

Turkish tycoon Muhsin Bayrak has also been very vocal about his efforts to buy Chelsea, claiming last week he had submitted an offer, although there have been doubts about his credibility.

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