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Saudi Media made 'competitive' offer to buy Chelsea from Abramovich one hour before deadline

Saudi Media made an offer to New York investment bank Raine Group to buy Chelsea, just an hour ahead of the deadline, GOAL can confirm. 

The private consortium headed by businessman Mohamed Alkhereiji believes their offer is competitive, including plans to redesign Stamford Bridge and renew the contracts of key first team players, including Antonio Rudiger. 

They now await on the decision, which is being guided by Raine but involves the sanctioned club owner Roman Abramovich and senior Chelsea staff. 

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What else is part of the bid?

Saudi Media have promised to invest heavily in the club and bring their expertise in football, stadiums and advertising to the table. 

They will seek new sponsors for the club after decisions by telecoms company Three and car company Hyundai to suspend their lucrative deals after seeing Abramovich sanctioned for his connections to Russia amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

They have vowed to invest in the women's team and have a strategy to use the squad as ambassadors for sport in the Middle East, while the group desire to complete any deal quickly to help lift cash flow issues that are impacting Chelsea's existence amid the sanctions laid down by the UK government.

Saudi Media had not wished to go public about their bid until the final decision phase from Raine, but the bid sought to clarify details after reports emerged citing them as a candidate for ownership.

When will we know if they are successful?

Raine are currently poring over hundreds of pages of documents relating to the sale of Chelsea FC as they aim to whittle down the field of candidates. 

They are hoping to have rejections and approvals ready for Monday morning, allowing three or four bids to proceed to the next stage. 

Then, the remaining bidders will see their plans presented to the Premier League and assessed by the latter's legal team. 

Chelsea's senior staff are keen to see any bid go through before the next match against Brentford which takes place on April 2 at Stamford Bridge, in order to smooth a transition into the final weeks of the season.

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