Todd Boehly’s consortium is to be named as the preferred bidder to buy Chelsea.

It emerged on Friday that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, had tabled a last-minute £4.25billion bid to buy the west London club.

But it would appear the group headed by LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly – which includes backing from Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm – is in the ascendancy with regard to the takeover.

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Kaveh Solhekol says Sir Jim Ratcliffe had earlier said he was not interested in bidding for Chelsea, but something has made the Ineos owner change his mind

Chelsea have told the consortium led by Stephen Pagliuca, part-owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics and Serie A’s Atalanta, it is not the preferred bidder.

Chelsea hope to have a new owner in place by the end of May.

Once the Raine Group selects a preferred bidder, the government must then grant a new licence to allow the sale to be completed.

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

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The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven links between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich has owned Chelsea for 19 years, leading the club to 21 trophies in a glittering tenure.

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