American investor Stephen Pagliuca hinted on Tuesday at being prepared to divest his interest in Italian club Atalanta to buy Premier League side, Chelsea, as he prepares to submit a bid this week.
Pagliuca, who is the joint owner of NBA team Boston Celtics, agreed to buy into Serie A club Atalanta in February, buying 55% of La Dea, the holding owned by Italy’s Percassi family, which owns around 86% of the club.
”Later this week, we will submit a substantial and credible bid proposal – one that we expect will meet the respective requirements and regulations of the Premier League, UK Government and UEFA,” Pagliuca said in a statement.
”We pledge to honour our commitment to credibility and good guardianship of Chelsea Football Club from day one.”
Under European football governing body UEFA’s rules, two clubs participating in the same competition cannot be directly or indirectly controlled by the same entity or managed by the same person.
Both Atalanta and Chelsea played in the Champions League this season, with the Serie A side knocked out in the group stages. Chelsea trail Real Madrid 3-1 in the quarter-finals ahead of Tuesday’s second leg.
Pagliuca’s bid is one of many shortlisted to buy the London club.
Chelsea were initially put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion and before sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government, effectively giving it control of the club.
The club’s sale is being overseen by U.S. bank Raine Group.