The consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is in exclusive negotations to buy Premier League club Chelsea for $3 billion (£2.4bn), a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Boehly’s consortium was one of a number of bidders that had approached New York bank Raine with bids to purchase the team, which was put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich following Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine and before sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government.

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe had launched a late bid to buy the club for £4.25bn ($5.3B) on Friday as the three offers featuring American investors were already being assessed.

Abramovich has been seeking £3bn for the club after deciding to sell following his sanctioning by the UK government for alleged ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, but the bidders are believed to have only reached £2.5bn.

Earlier this week, Abramovich asked for an extra £500m to go to a charity set up to help the Ukraine victims — under government terms, Abramovich cannot receive any proceeds from the sale himself — and this caused a delay that led Secretary for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries to declare Chelsea were “on borrowed time” to complete a sale given their special licence to operate while under Abramovich’s ownership expires on May 31.

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