Paper Talk: Billionaire confirms Chelsea consortium takeover plan, with Abramovich in ‘panic’

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

A potential bidder has confirmed his interest in taking Chelsea over from Roman Abramovich, while Newcastle eye a Serie A raid – both in all the latest Paper Talk.


Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has confirmed interest in taking over Chelsea from Roman Abramovich as part of a potential consortium.

Abramovich is under mounting pressure over his ownership of the Stamford Bridge club following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Labour MP Chris Bryant firstly raised concerns last week over the 55-year-old’s links with the Russian state and alleged association with corrupt activity and practices.

Abramovich subsequently submitted a statement on Saturday. The Russian confirmed that he was handing over the “stewardship” of the club to the Chelsea FC foundation trustees.

However, the six trustees raised concerns about whether the move would keep them in line with UK charity law.

As a result, The Telegraph is now reporting that Abramovich is ready to receive bids by the end of this week. What’s more, three potential bidders have come forward with interest.

Wyss is one of those. The 85-year-old is reportedly worth £4.36billion and lives in the USA. He told Swiss newspaper Blick of his interest in Chelsea – but only if others join him and the price is right. Indeed, The Telegraph adds that Abramovich has previously turned down offers worth £2.2billion and will likely ask Chelsea for the £1.5billion the club owe him in debts.

Wyss said: “Like all other oligarchs, he is in a panic. Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly.

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“I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.

“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2 billion.

“As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price. I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners.

“But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say, I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”

There have also been claims that Abramovich is preparing to sell his mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens. He could soon face sanctions, but Chelsea have yet to respond to the latest developments.

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Giovanni Simeone Hellas Verona 2021 TEAMtalk1

Newcastle are still monitoring a potential raid for on-loan Hellas Verona striker Giovanni Simeone, according to a report.

The Magpies sought at least two striker additions in the January transfer window. But while they signed Chris Wood from Burnley for £25million, they did not get another signing over the line.

Newcastle almost had a deal in place to sign Reims’ Hugo Ekitike. However, the move fell through late on in the transfer window.

Nevertheless, reports revealed that Simeone – the son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone – was a further target for the Magpies. But he made two substitute appearances for parent club Cagliari before his move to Verona and therefore could not play for a third club this season.

According to Calciomercato (via the Daily Express), though, Newcastle still have an eye on a raid for Simeone.

The 26-year-old has impressed in Serie A this term with 15 goals in 25 games.

On Sunday, Simeone ended a recent goal drought by netting a hat-trick in Verona’s 3-1 win over Venezia.


Matteo Guendouzi Marseille September 2021

Marseille president Pablo Longoria has confirmed that Matteo Guendouzi will leave Arsenal on a permanent deal this summer.

The midfielder will sign a three-year deal after meeting the relevant clauses in his loan spell from the Gunners.

Guendouzi starred in his first full season under Unai Emery but suffered a rocky relationship with Mikel Arteta.

As a result, the 22-year-old left for Hertha Berlin last season.

And while that move did not work out as hoped, Guendouzi has – in his own words – “flourished” back in his native France this term.