Tuchel believes Chelsea’s next owner will target trophies over making money

Deadline to submit offer to purchase club from Abramovich passed on Friday night

Thomas Tuchel is confident that Chelsea's next owner will be more interested in winning trophies than making money.

Chelsea are in an uncertain position as they face up to a future without Roman Abramovich and it remains to be seen who will buy the club from the Russian oligarch. The deadline to submit offers to the Raine Group passed on Friday night, with a consortium led by Todd Boehly, Hansjörg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein viewed as the leading candidate among those groups who have shown their hands publicly.

Raine, the US bank handling the process, received at least 30 offers and its next step will involve selecting a few to proceed to the next stage. Offers were arriving close to the deadline and although many of the eye-catching moves have come from American bidders, there was also interest from a South Korean consortium yesterday. Catalina Kim, the chief executive of C&P Sports Group, said her company had joined forces with Hana Financial Investment, a subsidiary of the Korean bank Hana Financial Group, and would lodge a bid.

The winning group is expected to pay between £2 billion and £3 billion (€2.4 billion and €3.6 billion) and Tuchel, speaking before Chelsea's FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough on Saturday, was asked whether that kind of price for a Premier League club is sustainable.

“If somebody buys a club for this amount of money then it’s about challenging on the highest kind of level, then it’s about trophies, then it’s about winning and then it’s about being the best you can,” Chelsea’s manager replied. “It’s not about developing a project, it’s not about making money with the club.

“Who am I? I don’t know the ideas behind buying a club or any organisation for this amount of money because I cannot afford it and I will never be able to. But that’s what I hope. I think Chelsea as a club and a structure and an organisation has an awful to offer, and that’s why the price is like it is.”

Restrictive licence

Tuchel, who dismissed suggestions that Manchester United could lure him from Stamford Bridge, said he did not know much about the owners of American sports teams amid interest in Chelsea from the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, and Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets. "I know the teams but the owners are not so familiar to me," he said. "I pretty much watch almost every sport because I simply love it – I watch American sport too."

Chelsea are operating under a restrictive licence as a result of sanctions imposed on Abramovich and have had their travel costs capped at £20,000 (€24,000). However, Tuchel confirmed they had been allowed to fly to Middlesbrough.

There will be only about 700 away fans there after Chelsea's licence prevented them from taking their full allocation. They are not permitted to sell tickets and unless a new owner arrives soon, they face having no fans at either leg of next month's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Abramovich transferred a company he controlled with tens of millions of dollars of investments, Ervington Investments Limited, to the Chelsea director Eugene Tenenbaum on the day Russia invaded Ukraine, UK corporate filings showed. Tenenbaum told Reuters the purchase was in compliance with laws and regulations.

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