Chelsea owner Todd Boehly dealt blow after Portuguese club reject fee

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Chelsea are said to be re-assessing Portuguese clubs as part of their plans for a multi-club network, after having a bid for Portimonense turned down. According to reports dating back to last September, Chelsea were in talks to buy the Primeira Liga side after co-owner Todd Boehly confirmed he wanted to set up a stable of clubs.

The Blues are said to have identified Portugal as a good country in which to buy a satellite team, but their offer to purchase a 75 per cent stake in Portimonense has been rejected, according to the Evening Standard.

Portimonense have previously rejected a similar approach from Manchester City and do not think they need influence or investment from an English club.

Chelsea have consulted with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes over clubs to consider in his homeland and he is now tasked with finding alternative options, having built a positive relationship with co-controlling owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.

The Blues want a club in Portugal to help them sign the best South American talent for less and at a younger age, as they could take advantage of more lenient work permit regulations in the country.

Chelsea signed Enzo Fernandez for a British transfer record fee of £107m ($130m) in January, just six months after he moved from River Plate to Benfica for £9m ($11m).

Boehly and Eghbali want to build a multi-club model like Manchester City and the Red Bull football group, who own Leipzig and Salzburg.

They are looking at clubs in France, Belgium and Brazil as part of a project that is being led by president of business Tom Click.

RC Strasbourg president Marc Keller has confirmed Chelsea are in talks to purchase a stake in the French club. Chelsea are thought have had bids for their Lyon, Bordeaux and Sochaux-Montbeliard rejected, though the club has declined to comment. Chelsea also had an approach turned down last year for Brazilian giants Santos.

Elsewhere at Chelsea, long-serving head groundsman Jason Griffin plus his assistant and son Reisse were shown the door in a shock move after 30 years at the club.

In a continuation of the major overhauling of staff that has taken place since Chelsea’s takeover last May, the Griffin duo have become the latest employees to depart after a number of years in west London.

The Boehly-Clearlake Capital consortium bought Chelsea last summer for £4.25bn ($5.1bn) after previous Russian owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government and forced to sell the club.

Since then wholesale changes have been made in numerous areas of the club including the hierarchy, coaching, playing, medical and now grounds staff.

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