THERE are fears that the Chelsea takeover could COLLAPSE amid claims Roman Abramovich wants to recoup £1.6billion in loans.

The Russian oligarch has been sanctioned by the British government over his links with Russia amid the war on Ukraine.

The London club whittled down potential new owners down to a list of three, before one of the richest men in Britain Sir Jim Ratfcliffe threw his hat into the ring.

However, LA Dodgers boss Todd Boehly looked set to win the battle to buy the Premier League giants.

Within two hours it emerged that Boehly’s group, which includes Switzerland’s richest man, Hansjorg Wyss and has also enlisted former Chancellor George Osborne, had ALREADY been given preferred status.

The other two consortiums, one led by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton – backed by Lewis Hamilton and Lord Seb Coe – and the other by Boston Celtics and Atalanta part-owner Stephen Pagliuca, were informed they were effectively out of the running.

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Boehly’s team, though, were told they had been granted a “period of exclusivity” to discuss the final terms and conditions of a takeover package.

But according to The Times, there could be a big spanner thrown into the works.

Abramovich is reportedly "attempting to renege on his promise to write off a £1.6 billion debt".

This is despite the 55-year-old saying he would NOT be asking for any loans to be repaid when he put the club up for sale.

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Abramovich is believed to be claiming that the sanctions are preventing him from writing off the debt.

However, the government are ready to challenge this.

After putting the Blues up for sale in March, a statement from Abramovich read: "I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated.

"The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.

"This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.”

If a deal with Boehly is agreed, it will still need to be accepted by the Premier League, with all parties subject to the owners and directors test, likely to take a minimum of 10 further days to be completed.

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And the ultimate sign-off will then need to come from the Government after Abramovich and his assets, including the club, were placed on the UK sanctions list.

But the Russian's loans could make things much more confusing for the negotiators.

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