Roman Abramovich has no intention of selling Chelsea after being impressed by Frank Lampard’s early success with the club, according to The Telegraph .
Abramovich has owned the Blues since 2003 but questions have been raised over his long-term commitment to the west London club in recent times.
Once a regular spectator at home games, the Russian billionaire has not attended a game at Stamford Bridge since becoming involved in a feud with the UK government over the renewal of his visa over a year ago.
He also halted the planned redevelopment of the stadium in May this year, further increasing speculation he was ready to sell the club.
However, The Telegraph reports that two ‘close associates’ of Abramovich confirmed that the club was ‘effectively off the market’ after no serious bids were put forward during the 18-month window after a sale was first considered.
Despite Chelsea’s stance that it has never been for sale , it is claimed that a consortium based in the Middle East held talks over a potential sale and was quoted a price of £2.5billion for the 53-year-old’s controlling stake.
However, it reportedly chose not to continue discussions due to obstacles facing the proposed £1.2bn redevelopment of the club’s ground.
it is also also reported that Abramovich has now ruled out any sale and is understood to be happy with recent developments at the club under new boss Lampard.
“Any Chelsea is off the the table as far as Roman is concerned,” an associate told The Telegraph .
“He is genuinely very pleased with how things are. Chelsea’s academy is being promoted and this is what he has wanted for some time and it’s finally working.”
Former Blues midfielder Lampard has enjoyed great success since taking charge at Stamford Bridge over the summer, despite not being able to sign players due to the club’s Fifa-imposed transfer ban.
Chelsea are currently third in the Premier League and travel to champions Manchester City on Saturday with a one-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side.
Lampard has been particularly praised for his successful integration of many of the club’s academy prospects, including Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
All three were on loan with Championship clubs last season – with Mount and Tomori playing under the 41-year-old at Derby – but have impressed this term and were included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for recent Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Abramovich has previously rejected an approach from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man who is the CEO and chairman of petrochemicals company Ineos, while other organisations are understood to have made unsuccessful attempts to secure minority shares.