Chelsea’s potential redevelopment of Stamford Bridge could move a sizeable step closer on Wednesday as the planning application for a 60,000-seater stadium is presented to Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
The Premier League leaders have decided developing their current home, rather than relocating elsewhere, is their preferred option as they look to provide a stadium with a capacity more akin to other top-flight clubs.
The planning and development control committee of Hammersmith and Fulham Council have a meeting scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday, although the council has already recommended the application be approved.
The proximity of underground and overground railway lines are one of the biggest challenges for such a huge project in an area of west London which offers little wiggle room.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would fund the project, which has an estimated cost of £500million.
That figure could rise if the club remain at Stamford Bridge while the work takes place, although it would mean Antonio Conte’s men would not need to find a temporary home for around three seasons.
Twickenham has been mooted as a contender for a part-time base for the 2012 Champions League winners, although Wembley could also be a candidate.
That would again muddy the waters as rivals Tottenham will occupy the national stadium for at least the 2017-18 season as work finishes on their own new stadium in north London.
Stamford Bridge’s capacity is 41,663, making it the seventh biggest in the Premier League.
It falls well short of Manchester United’s 76,000-seater Old Trafford, while Arsenal, Manchester City, West Ham, Sunderland and Liverpool boast bigger grounds.
Chelsea had previously looked at sites including Battersea Power Station for a new ground, but concluded their ideal arena could be created at their present location.
The Blues believe the history of Stamford Bridge is with the site, rather than the stadium itself.
The build would be complex and involve excavation, with the plan to lower the arena into the ground to achieve the capacity on a 12-acre site.