Bayrak's company, willing to bid over $1.3 billion for the football club, is set to make the application by the Friday deadline.

The British government assumed oversight of the Premier League club after it targeted owner Abramovich with sanctions.
The British government assumed oversight of the Premier League club after it targeted owner Abramovich with sanctions. (Reuters)

Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak has said his company was preparing to submit a bid by Friday to buy English football club Chelsea, previously owned by now sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Bayrak, who made the announcement on Wednesday, said he expected bids for Chelsea to hover around $1.3 billion (1 billion pounds).

That is roughly half the 2.2 billion pounds he says his company was prepared to pay Abramovich in the days before the oligarch and team owner was hit by sanctions tied to Russia's operation in Ukraine.

Chelsea's market value should reflect the fact that the club recently lost sponsorship contracts, and "the situation has changed since it was transferred to the government," Bayrak said.

"We will make the application by Friday," he said, adding that he had 1 billion pounds in cash available and could easily take out loans if a larger amount was needed.

In addition to cash, his initial offer to Abramovich included $400 million worth of the company's own cryptocurrency and transferring ownership of certain real estate projects.

READ MORE: Abramovich disqualified as Chelsea director by Premier League

Abramovich's blessing

Some Turkish media have questioned whether Bayrak's company AB Group, which has interests in construction, real estate and cryptocurrency, has the financial firepower to buy Chelsea.

The businessman, on the other hand, assured that he had the necessary funds.

Britain's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport was unable to comment. While not directly involved in the sale process, the government would issue a license for the sale if it is happy with the conditions.

Abramovich's spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for a reported $184 million (140 million pounds) and has owned the club through its most successful era.

Before being sanctioned by Britain, Abramovich had said he would sell the London club, but it is now operating under a special government license and the Premier League board has disqualified him as a club director.

Bayrak said he planned to meet Abramovich in person later this week in Türkiye to get his blessing for any deal.

According to Bayrak, the two men first spoke by phone about a possible deal late last month and met in Istanbul about two weeks ago.

Bayrak credited his business associate Barbaros Sagdic, a Turkish architect who has been involved in projects in Russia and has connections in the Russian business community, with helping him establish a link to Abramovich.

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Source: Reuters