Roman Abramovich is said to be looking into a multi-billion pound sale of Chelsea, something a source close to the club denies.
His directors at the club are thought to have hired a specialist investment bank Raine Group to take part in a strategic review of the club according to The Sunday Times.
This follows a £2billion bid for Chelsea from Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
But a club source familiar with the situation, Abramovich has no plans to sell the London club and nothing has changed in that regard.
Roman Abramovich, pictured, has owned Chelsea Football Club since 2003 and is now thinking of selling the club
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia and trusted Abramovich adviser will be helping oversee the strategic review
The appointment of Raine Group for the strategic review- which is being overseen by Chelsea directors Marina Granovskaia and Eugene Tenenbaum- comes after private equity firm Silver Lake Partners tried to buy a minority stake.
The possible sale comes at a pivotal time for the west London club who have started the season under new manager Maurizio Sarri, and have managed to keep hold of superstar talent Eden Hazard.
But they have had put their plans on hold for a possible new £1 billion, 60,000 seater stadium, after Abramovich had problems securing a visa to work in the UK in May.
He secured Israeli citizenship which allows him to travel to the UK, but he is not allowed to work.
Tensions between Britain and Russia grew this year after London accused Moscow of poisoning former double-agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in March.
Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning but wealthy Russians have been affected by the frosty relations between the two countries.
Roman Abramovich has owned the club since 2003 and has enjoyed a lot of success with the club, including winning the Champions League final in 2012
Abramovich was unable to secure a visa which caused him to miss Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester United in May.
It is thought the Chelsea owner personally intervened to halt the development of Stamford Bridge after his visa was affected.
Abramovich’s visa expired in April and was said to be reluctant to invest heavily in a project in a country where he has been denied a visa.
His previous tier-1 visa- which allows people who invest more than £2m in the British economy to stay for 40 months- had been granted before more stringent regulations were introduced in April 2015.
Abroamovich apparently does not currently intend to re-apply for a British visa.
Chelsea’s official statement said the 60,000 seat arena was delayed due to the ‘current unfavourable investment climate’.
Experts have suggested that pulling his investment could be the ultimate powerplay with the Home Office over his visa.
But others say the redevelopment just doesn’t stack up financially because it will cost £1billion to add just 19,000 new seats.
The oligarch bought Chelsea in 2003, since then the club have enjoyed the most success in their history, with five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League among their trophy wins.
Abramovich who is thought to be worth approximately £9.3 billion and made his money from oil and aluminium.
In 2007 he reached a £150 million divorce settlement with his second-wife Irina, in what was the fourth largest divorce bill in history.