Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has flown to Turkey as he aims to finalise the sale of Chelsea, according to a MailOnline investigation.
The investigation has discovered a private jet owned by the Blues owner made a trip to Turkey on Wednesday, potentially to discuss terms with wealthy Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak.
The luxury 2019 Gulfstream G650ER craft – worth an estimated £48.7million new and one of a fleet of six operated by Abramovich – travelled from Moscow and landed briefly in Istanbul before flying on to Turkish capital Ankara.
Abramovich is seeking buyers for the Premier League club he owns, with a touted price of around £3billion.
Bayrak has claimed he is locked in talks with the Russian over a purchase, insisting he is ‘in the negotiation phase for the signatures’.
The ‘£8billion-valued’ Bayrak has also vowed to ‘fly the Turkish flag in London soon’, suggesting Abramovich may have travelled to Turkey to thrash out details of selling Chelsea to the little-known tycoon.
A MailOnline investigation has revealed Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may have travelled to Turkey to sell the Premier League club to Turkish businessman and billionaire Muhsin Bayrak
Pictures of the flight path (above) show the luxury 2019 Gulfstream G650ER private jet owned by Abramovich travelled from Moscow to Turkish capital Ankara, via Istanbul, on Wednesday
Blues owner Abramovich owns an array of private jets as part of his £9.4billion portfolio
Abramovich sent shockwaves rippling through European football on Wednesday when he sensationally announced he is looking to sell the Blues and end his 19-year reign at Stamford Bridge amid his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
That conflict has raised questions in UK parliament about potentially imposing sanctions on him and as a result, Abramovich is offloading all of his London assets before the British government can penalise him, including his beloved Chelsea.
American and Swiss tycoons Todd Boehly and Hansjorg Wyss appeared the frontrunners to meet his rumoured £3billion asking price, but now Bayrak has made several claims suggesting he is firmly in line to buy the club.
‘We are negotiating the terms of the purchase of Chelsea with Roman Abramovich’s lawyers,’ the businessman told Turkish outlet Yeni Safak.
Muhsin Bayrak claims he is in talks with Roman Abramovich’s lawyers about buying Chelsea
Baryak, chairman of rumoured £8bn-business AB Group Holding, says he is close to a takeover
‘We are in the negotiation phase for the signatures. We will fly the Turkish flag in London soon. We made our offer. Because of the war with Russia and Ukraine in the world. Because they find Turkey safe, they want to get most of the after-sales money in Turkey. We are planning to sign soon.’
Bayrak is the leader of the Mutki Tribe of Bitlis, one of the largest and most important families in Turkey, as well as the Chairman of the Board of AB Group Holding, which has investments in crypto, construction, tourism and energy sectors.
The company, founded by Bayrak in 1999, is based mainly in Istanbul but also operates out of Italy, Greece and Spain and is said to have investments in London.
‘Roman Abramovich has confirmed that he will sell Chelsea, which he bought in 2003, on the club’s official website. Our Holding Lawyers and Roman Abramovich’s lawyers have been in touch since the first day Chelsea entered the sales process,’ Chelsea’s potential suitor added.
Abramovich is said to value his vast Stamford Bridge empire at a staggering figure of £3billion
Swiss and American tycoons Hansjorg Wyss and Todd Boehly are interested in buying the club
‘The negotiation process has come to an end and we are planning to sign soon. This sale is also very important for Turkey.’
Abramovich, said to be worth over £10billion, was one of several oligarchs on the move this week.
Our investigation also found that a helicopter thought to be owned by Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska was spotted on radar on Thursday, but the pilot did not broadcast the location of the aircraft.
The Sikorsky S-76C is worth around £8.96million and is believed to be one of two owned by Deripaska. He made headlines in 2008 when former Labour Party cabinet minister Peter Mandelson was spotted on board his yacht.
Deripaska is thought to be worth £2.25billion and his aircraft are registered in the Isle of Man – as are others owned by ten Russian oligarchs.
An Airbus A-319 owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, who is thought to be worth around £11.6billion, was seen on the ground at an airport in France near the Swiss border on Thursday. The aircraft is worth an estimated £76.11million.
Prokhorov is the former owner of the American basketball team the New Jersey Nets – he is thought to have sold his stake on the orders of Putin.
An aircraft owned by gas and electricity mogul Arkady Rotenberg, said to be worth £2.57billion, was seen flying from Moscow to Malé in the Maldives on Tuesday.
The Bombardier Global 6000 jet is priced at around £47million new and it is believed he may be have been jetting out to his £16.42million superyacht called Rahil.
He joins a list of Russian oligarchs who are mooring their vessels in the Maldives, including Deripaska and his £49million ship Clio, steel magnate Alexander Abramov’s £75million Titan, and mining boss Alexy Mordashov’s circa £380million-valued Nord.