Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich has reportedly refused to sell Chelsea Football Club after Jim Ratcliffe, a British billionaire and CEO of the chemical giant Ineos, offered to purchase it for a lump sum of about 2 billion pounds (over 2.2 billion euros), The Daily Mail reports.
But the Russian oligarch made it clear he had no intention of cutting ties with Chelsea, despite his recent decision to halt plans for a new stadium because of his United Kingdom visa issues.
Ratcliffe, 65 and with an estimated fortune of about £21billion, who is also a fan of Manchester United reportedly made the offer as the diplomatic row between Britain and Russian Federation raged in the aftermath of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
As at Friday, June 8, officials of the Premier League side kept mum on the issue, stressing that the club owner remains committed to the football outfit that he bought over a decade ago.
Last month's Sunday Times rich list valued Ratcliffe's wealth at £21.05bn - more than double Abramovich's £9.3bn valuation. After pulling the plug on plans to renovate Stamford Bridge, speculation has arisen over the 51-year-old's future at the helm of the club.
It means there's been speculation that Abramovich could up sticks after buying Chelsea for £140million in 2003. The businessman missed the FA Cup final victory against Manchester United that sparked further unrest among the Chelsea camp.
In 2010, when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister, he moved his operations to Switzerland following a row over his wish to postpone Value-Added Tax payments for six months.
Mr Ratcliffe's spokesman said: 'We can not comment on rumour and speculation'.