Chelsea set to follow Man City model as owners look to purchase stake in European giants
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Chelsea owners Behdad Eghbali and Todd Boehly want to purchase a stake in one of Portugal’s biggest clubs.
The Blues owners ended last month’s transfer window having broken the £1billion barrier in transfer fees since their takeover in May last year.
However, it appears their investment is not likely to end any time soon.
While Eghbali and Boehly can’t sign another player until the January transfer window, the consortium led by the pair is reportedly eager to acquire a stake in Sporting CP, one of the Portuguese big three.
According to the Telegraph, there are “serious plans” to take a minority stake in Sporting, months after acquiring a majority stake in the Ligue 1 club Strasbourg.
The French side, which the Chelsea owners invested a £65million stake into, has been seen as a destination for development players.
Indeed, the multi-club model has been frequently adopted by Europe’s biggest powers in recent years.
However Sporting’s involvement in such a project would raise eyebrows, given they are 19-time Portuguese champions, and historically a Uefa Cup-winners’ Cup winner.
And there is allegedly an acceptance that for the Sporting deal to happen it would need to be handled delicately than the usual acquisition of a smaller European club in need of investment.
Should they acquire a minority stake in Sporting, the club, like Strasbourg, would be used to give younger Chelsea players a pathway to top-level football.
That path would not necessarily lead to the Chelsea first-team, with the Blues having more often than not, developed assets that they would later sell to stay compliant with financial fair play regulations.
The club had become adept at selling its academy prospects during the Roman Abramovich era. However, City Football Group, who own Manchester City among others, have demonstrated that with a bigger multi-club system it can be done on an even greater scale.