Maurizio Sarri press conference
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Sarri insists Abramovich still has a big ‘influence’ at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says owner Roman Abramovich still has a ‘big influence’ at the club.

The Russian oil tycoon has not attended a game in over a year, with issues over the 52-year-old’s UK visa having led to speculation the billionaire could look to sell after over 15 years in London.

Reports this week emerged that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, was interested in a £2.5bn takeover of the club.

Despite the reports Sarri says Abramovich, who bought the club for just £140m in 2003, remains firmly involved at Stamford Bridge.

“He has some problems now, but he is involved with the club, with the team,” Sarri told the press ahead of his sides clash with West Ham at Stamford Bridge tonight.

“He is the owner, and so he is able to influence the technical staff, the club, the players, everything I think.

“Also in Naples, the president Aurelio De Laurentiis wasn’t in the training ground every day. He was in the training ground once a month, no more. So it’s really very similar.”