By Nick Purewal, PA
All four shortlisted bids to buy Chelsea will be entirely funded by cash, the PA news agency understands.
Steve Pagliuca’s bid for the Blues will match the other three competing offers in having no debt, a source close to the Boston Celtics co-owner’s consortium confirmed.
“We have been consistent throughout that this will be a credible and compelling bid,” said a source close to Pagliuca’s bid team.
The four shortlisted consortiums must submit their final offers on Thursday to the Raine Group.
The New York merchant bank will then select a preferred bidder, with Chelsea’s sale still expected to be completed in May.
The Stamford Bridge club’s sale could yet reach a sports franchise record £3 billion (€3.6 billion).
Pagliuca confirmed the make-up of his consortium on Wednesday, with NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum as co-managing partner.
Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK government on March 10th, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea have been granted a special Government licence to continue operating, though under strict terms.
Abramovich cannot profit from Chelsea’s sale, but had already vowed to write off the club’s £1.5 billion debt.
Raine Group’s preferred bidder will have to pass Premier League owners’ and directors’ tests, with the final step the granting of a new Government licence to process the sale.