The four other clubs Roman Abramovich had on his shortlist before buying Chelsea

Roman Abramovich also had Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool on his shortlist before buying Chelsea in 2003.

The Russian took charge at Stamford Bridge and has seen the club win 16 major trophies during his time, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Abramovich has regularly splashed out and saw the club spend £200m in the recent summer following a season without success.

Though it could have all been so different, with Jon Smith’s book ‘The Deal’ explaining that Abramovich had other potential targets.

It’s explained that Abramovich’s advisers initially drew up a list of clubs across five European countries before it was whittled down to England.

Roman Abramovich completed his takeover of Chelsea in 2003
(Image: Getty Images)

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There were five clubs shortlisted though the current Blues owner already owned a house in west London, making clubs in the capital a more logical choice.

Smith’s book explains that Abramovich’s camp held preliminary talks with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, though a formal offer was never tabled.

Enquiries were made over Arsenal too, though Abramovich and his team were instructed that the Gunners were not for sale.

Roman Abramovich has guided Chelsea to plenty of succcess, including the Champions League

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It’s claimed that Chelsea were more receptive though were not in a healthy position.

Abramovich reportedly met Ken Bates just once with the two men shaking on a deal to sell the club.

Abramovich has rarely given interviews during his time at Chelsea, though did speak out following the decision to sack Frank Lampard last month.

He said: “This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.

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