Chelsea takeover: Steve Pagliuca flying to London as bidders make final pitches in Stamford Bridge battle

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Chelsea takeover: Steve Pagliuca flying to London as bidders make final pitches in Stamford Bridge battle
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Steve Pagliuca is flying into London for a face-to-face meeting at Chelsea as the race to buy out Roman Abramovich reaches its final stages.

All three shortlisted bidders have been invited to make final pitches as US merchant bank Raine Group prepares to put forward a preferred buyer to the Treasury.

Todd Boehly’s consortium have already held talks at Stamford Bridge and Sir Martin Broughton is also due to run through his proposals one last time.

There is hope among the candidates that the process will come to an end this week, although they are still to be given any guidance by Raine over time frames.

There is an acceptance that the speed with which the takeover has had to be conducted – due to the UK Government sanctioning Abramovich over his links to Vladimir Putin – has meant for the shifting of parameters.

Shortlisted bidders are making their final pitches in the race to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich (Es Composite)
Shortlisted bidders are making their final pitches in the race to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich (Es Composite)

Raine has asked a series of “comfort questions” and demanded a commitment from each bidder not to sell the club for 10 years.

They have also asked for £1billion-worth of investment on top of the sale to ensure the ongoing success of the club.

The final pitches have been described by sources close to the process as a normal part of the procedure, even after representatives from each consortium met with members of Chelsea’s executive before submitting official offers earlier this month.

Pagliuca is due to fly into London today and head to Stamford Bridge. The co-owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics has been the lowest key of the remaining candidates, with his interest in the club not known until late in the bidding process.

Among the strongest elements of his bid is his partner Larry Tanenbaum’s construction expertise. Plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge are seen as a major factor in who will eventually be put forward to buy the club.

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