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Ratcliffe's Chelsea bid 'rejected out of hand'

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's bid to buy Chelsea has been "rejected out of hand" but he remains interested in buying the club.

The 69-year-old - who is the CEO of the Ineos Group Ltd and widely regarded to be Britain's richest person - tabled a last-minute £4.25 billion bid to buy the Blues on Friday.

However, it is understood that Ratcliffe has not engaged in the process set out by the Raine Group, making it difficult for his bid to be considered.

A consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly have been named as the preferred bidders by the Raine Group and they have until the end of this week to finalise the terms of an agreement to buy the club.

That bid is currently being scrutinised by the Premier League to see if it passes their owners and directors test.

Ineos director Tom Crotty told Bloomberg on Wednesday: "We've been rejected out of hand by Raine but we will keep reminding people we are still here."

Two additional parties also remain interested in taking over the club: one led by Sir Martin Broughton, the former Liverpool and British Airways chairman, which includes the billionaire Crystal Palace shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris and another led by Stephen Pagliuca, part-owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics and Serie A's Atalanta.

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