Ineos, the chemicals firm owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, have refused to comment on reports the billionaire has attempted to buy Chelsea.
Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest person, made an approach to Blues owner Roman Abramovich, according to the Daily Mail.
The Mail say Ratcliffe’s advances were rejected and that Abramovich made it clear he has no intention of selling Chelsea despite his recent decision to shelve the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge after problems obtaining a UK visa from the Home Office.
Ineos, which already owns Swiss club Lausanne-Sport, have declined to confirm or deny there was an attempt to buy Chelsea.
A spokesman for the company told the Press Association: “We can’t comment on market rumour or speculation.”
Ratcliffe is a Manchester United fan but is a regular at the Bridge because it is close to his London home. Last season he was reportedly a guest at the Blues’ Cobham training ground.
His apparent approach is reportedly one of a number Abramovich has snubbed.
The Mail quoted an anonymous ‘friend of Ratcliffe’ as saying: “Shelling out £2bn or so would seem like a drop in the ocean for Jim but at the moment he is torn about what to do.”
Last month’s Sunday Times rich list valued Ratcliffe’s wealth at £21.05bn – more than double Abramovich’s £9.3bn valuation.
The 65-year-old, who grew up in Lancashire, was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.