N’Golo Kante reveals how Chelsea squad reacted to Abramovich selling club

N’Golo Kante has become the first Chelsea player to speak on Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell the club and says the players were ‘not prepared’ for the owner’s statement.

Abramovich’s 19-year spell in charge of the Premier League team is coming to an end after the Russian billionaire put Chelsea up for sale.

Chelsea have enjoyed huge success during Abramovich’s ownership, winning five league titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies, but are searching for a new owner.

Abramovich’s decision to sell the London club comes amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The 55-year-old is said to have close ties with Russia President Vladimir Putin, although he has denied this several times.

Other Russian billionaires – including Alisher Usmanov have faced sanctions – and multiple Labour MPs have questioned why Abramovich has so far escaped any economic repercussions.

Abramovich confirmed he was selling Chelsea in a statement released before the club’s FA Cup game with Luton Town on Wednesday and Kante says he and his teammates were shocked by the announcement.

‘It’s something we were not prepared for, it came quickly,’ Kante told Sky Sports. ‘But the only thing we can do, because we don’t control these things, is to do the best that we have always done.

‘Which means that playing football at the best [possible level], for us, for the club, for the fans and see how the things are going and it’s the only thing we can control.’

The Chelsea midfielder added: ‘It’s sad to see things like this. We can hope that it finishes as quickly as possible and in the best way.’

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea won the Champions League last campaign, the Super Cup last August and the Club World Cup in February.

Reacting to Abramovich’s decision, Tuchel said: ‘It’s a bit too early to speak, because I can only think about Chelsea with Roman Abramovich.

‘So it’s very hard for me. It hasn’t sunk in yet that this is going to stop. It’s a massive change of course. We did not talk about it [before Luton]. We accepted it.

‘The players have internet connections, they watch TV so of course they knew, they get messages. But still we focused in the preparation only on sports.

‘And maybe some players are more affected, some less, but in the end we managed to focus, grow into this game and find the key to win it.’


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