Sir Jim Ratcliffe is not giving up hope of owning Chelsea despite seeing his £4.25billion bid rejected.

The British billionaire made an 11th hour offer to purchase the club just as the merchant bank Raine Group, who are overseeing the process, were preparing to confirm Todd Boehly’s consortium as the preferred bidder.

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Ratcliffe is Britain’s richest man and made a last-ditch attempt to buy Chelsea

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly’s bid has received that preferred bidder status, with the Eldridge Industries chief now forging ahead to try to complete a deal to buy the Blues.

Ineos director Tom Crotty revealed Raine Group handed Ratcliffe a ‘rapid rejection’ on his last-minute £4.25billion bid for Chelsea.

Petrochemicals boss Ratcliffe will continue to press to win the race to take the Chelsea reins from Roman Abramovich, though, despite that setback.

Speaking to the BBC, the billionaire said: “We had a communication with Raine and met with them at the end of last week. We presented a bid but have heard very little back from them.

“My message to Raine is don’t discount our offer. We are British and have great intentions for Chelsea. If I was Raine I wouldn’t close any door.”

On why his bid was late, Ratcliffe added: “It is a big decision to buy a national asset and it’s a big commitment in terms of time and money. We’re there for the long term that’s a lot of responsibility to take on and it takes time to reach a decision to be fully committed.”

Abramovich announced his intention to sell Chelsea in March, shortly before he was sanctioned by the UK government


Abramovich announced his intention to sell Chelsea in March, shortly before he was sanctioned by the UK government

Abramovich pledged to write off his £1.5billion loan to Chelsea on announcing the sale.

The government is now thought to have raised fears over Abramovich’s plans to write off Chelsea’s debt, although the Russian billionaire is understood to expect that be frozen when the sale is carried out.

Chelsea’s sale has a deadline of May 31, when the government’s temporary licence for the Blues expires, and there are worries about what that could mean for the club.

Ratcliffe said: “I can’t imagine for a moment Chelsea could go out of business but they could suffer next season if they are not fully active in the transfer market. 

“In football, that is an important part of you because you can’t win tournaments if you don’t have good players.”