N’Golo Kante has admitted that the Chelsea squad was “not prepared for” Roman Abramovich’s announcement confirming that he has put the club up for sale.
Chelsea initially welcomed Abramovich to the club back in 2003 as he purchased the club from Ken Bates for £140 million ($187m).
The Russian billionaire has since overseen the most successful period in the Blues’ history, with multiple Premier League and Champions League titles delivered, but his 19-year tenure now appears to be drawing to a close.
What’s the situation?
Abramovich officially put Chelsea up for sale on Wednesday in response to the speculation that has been swirling around him since Russia began their invasion of Ukraine.
As one of the richest and most influential men in Russia, it has been suggested that Abramovich could face sanctions as the UK, the United States and other major countries across the globe seek to cut off President Vladimir Putin’s resources.
The 55-year-old wrote in a statement on the Blues’ website: “In the current situation, I have taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.
“Moreover, 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.
“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner.
“However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club.”
Kante opens up on dressing room reaction
Chelsea midfielder Kante has revealed that Abramovich’s decision came as a huge shock to the whole dressing room.
The Frenchman has urged his teammates to stay focused on football in these difficult times and expressed his hope that the conflict in Ukraine reaches a swift and peaceful conclusion.
“It’s something we are not prepared for, it came quick,” Kante told Sky Sports when asked about Abramovich’s impending exit.
“The only thing we can do, because we don’t control these things, is to do the best playing football as we have always done, for the club, for the fans.
“It’s hard to see things like this. We hope it finishes as quickly as possible and in the best way.”