The consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers part-owner Todd Boehly has made the shortlist to buy Chelsea, sources have told ESPN.
The New York-based merchant bank Raine Group, appointed to handle the sale of the club by outgoing owner Roman Abramovich, are in the process of identifying preferred bidders after receiving between 20 and 30 offers.
Sources have told ESPN that Boehly’s group, which also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and British property investor Jonathan Goldstein, have been informed they have advanced to the next stage.
The other confirmed to have progressed on Friday morning is the consortium headed by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton, former chairman of British Airways, containing World Athletics president Sebastian Coe and rumoured to involve Crystal Palace shareholders Josh Harris and David Blitzer.
Sources told ESPN last week that Raine were likely to identify two or three bids to be put forward for consideration by the Chelsea hierarchy, excluding Abramovich, who has been sanctioned by the U.K. government over alleged ties to Russia President Vladimir Putin.
The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, were waiting to hear whether they had progressed as of Friday morning. The Saudi Media Group are among those to have been informed they would not be successful.
A spokesperson for Centricus and Aethel Partners, two London-based firms to have submitted bids, did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by ESPN.
Another British-based offer led by Nick Candy, backed by South Korean investors, was also hopeful of making the shortlist, particularly if Raine decide to put through more than the three bids they originally planned.
Once a single offer is chosen, it will be put forward to the U.K. government for final approval.