A consortium led by LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly is set to be named the preferred bidder for Chelsea.
The club was put up for sale before owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier on Friday, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe made a £4.25bn offer.
The late offer is understood to have prompted confusion among rival bidders.
Ratcliffe – majority shareholder of chemical group Ineos – pledged to invest £1.75bn into the club over 10 years as part of his submission.
But the offer arrived on Friday morning, weeks beyond the initial deadline for bids of 18 March.
Chelsea and Boehly have not officially commented on his group’s position as preferred bidders.
The American investor and businessman – who has offered around £2.5bn for the club – has a reported net worth of $4.5bn (£3.6bn) according to Forbes.
He is a part owner of the Dodgers – a US baseball franchise – and US women’s basketball outfit the Los Angeles Sparks, while he also owns a stake in the renowned LA Lakers NBA franchise.
His consortium includes Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, American PR executive Barbara Charone, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein and British journalist Daniel Finkelstein.
Other consortiums who have been in the running to buy Chelsea have been headed by Sir Martin Broughton and the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Stephen Pagliuca – but both have now been told their bids were unsuccessful.
Chelsea are operating under a special licence from the UK government which ends on 31 May, but on Thursday Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the club were on “borrowed time” to complete the sale. – BBC.
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