Around 10 parties are weighing up bids to buy English soccer giants Chelsea, with the majority of interest coming from the US, according to multiple reports.

The sale is being managed by the Raine Group and it is believed that the US financial advisory firm has received several approaches from its home market.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell the club last week with the Russian facing possible sanctions from the UK government amid his country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

So far, the strongest interest in purchasing the West London-based club has come from a consortium fronted by billionaires Hansjörg Wyss from Switzerland and American Todd Boehly featuring multiple investors.

But according to ESPN, Raine Group has received more than 300 expressions of interest to buy Chelsea, with 10 regarded as credible parties.

Abramovich is understood to have set an asking price of £3 billion ($4 billion) with some reports suggesting that multiple offers matching that figure have already been lodged.

It is believed that RedBird Capital Partners, the US private investment firm, are one of a number of US-based groups considering a bid for the Champions League holders.

However, RedBird already has an interest in Liverpool having acquired a minority stake in the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group last year and Premier League rules would prevent them from owning another team.

In 2020, the New York-based investment firm, headed up by Gerry Cardinale and Billy Beane, the baseball executive of 'Moneyball' fame, acquired an 85% stake in French club Toulouse.

Later that year, RedBird launched the first sports special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), RedBall Acquisition Corp, which raised $500 million through an initial public offering to buy businesses in sports and sport-related media and data analytics.

Raine Group, which will reportedly earn a 1.5% commission from any sale fee, has given all interested parties a deadline of March 15 to submit opening bids.

The company previously brokered private equity firm Silver Lake’s deal in 2019 to buy a $500 million stake in City Football Group, the collective of soccer clubs headed up by Premier League champions Manchester City.

Joe Ravitch, the co-founder of Raine Group who is leading the search, told Reuters that a deal will not be “rushed” and that Abramovich will take enough time to strike a balance between securing a fair price and finding the "best steward" for Chelsea and its supporters.

Interested parties are looking to move swiftly in case Abramovich is sanctioned by the UK government, at which point it is unlikely a sale would be permitted.

The 55-year-old’s future as Chelsea owner was increasingly in doubt after his attempt to hand over control to the club’s trustees amid growing calls in parliament to sanction him.

Abramovich, who purchased Chelsea in 2003 for £140 million, is alleged to have strong ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, which he has previously denied, and has been the subject of increased UK speculation in recent weeks.

Last week, Chris Bryant, an MP of the UK's Labour political party, told the House of Commons he had a leaked Home Office document that suggested Abramovich should not be able to base himself in the UK and said the government should remove his ownership of Chelsea and seize his assets.

However, it has been reported that government officials have been unable to prove reasonable grounds for sanctions against him.

Patrick Kinch, sport analyst at GlobalData, commented: “As one of the biggest clubs in world soccer, there are many factors which would make Chelsea a desirable asset for a potential buyer. The club’s valuation at $3 billion owes to its location, position in world soccer with commercial and media revenues more or less maximized through the club’s success, and a global fanbase. Moreover, the club owns its biggest asset, its Stamford Bridge stadium, something which can heavily influence the selling price of a club.

“This success, however, comes at a cost when looking at the club’s financial statements. Abramovich has put £1.5 billion ($2 billion) into the club over his ownership since 2003, with £701 million ($939.5 million) of this coming in the past 10 years, meaning Chelsea has relied on an owner underwriting its losses more than any other Premier League club. Though Abramovich has stated publicly that he will not ask for these loans to be repaid, he is likely to require this to be considered in the club’s selling price.

“Chelsea accounts show that it has only made a pre-tax profit in five of the 20 years that Abramovich has owned the club, losing £153 million ($205 million) in the pandemic affected season of 2020-21, meaning the next owner is likely to have to accept that the purchase of the team will cost him/her money in the long run, again something to consider in the club’s valuation.

“However, this may all be irrelevant if an individual or group with enough capital comes forward with sufficient ego or vanity, which often plays a role in the acquisition of soccer clubs, and with 10 bidders rumored to be interested from private equity firms and individual investor consortiums, this may be what contributes most to the club’s final sale price.”