Chelsea near $500m investment; eye new stadium - sources

Ogden: Chelsea look a mess (0:51)

Mark Ogden dissects the problems at Chelsea after their 0-0 draw away vs. Bournemouth. (0:51)

Chelsea are close to agreeing a $500 million investment from U.S. firm Ares Management to help finance the club's expansion plans including a new stadium, sources have told ESPN.

Chelsea have met with various potential investors as they seek to raise funds for further growth projects and Ares, an alternative asset manager, is nearing a deal to provide a capital injection, sources have said.

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Chelsea's transfer spending since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover of the club last May has surpassed £1 billion ($1.23bn) but sources close to both the ownership and the club continue to insist there are no short-term cashflow issues or concerns about compliance with Uefa's financial fair play rules.

Instead, the new money is expected to form part of a fund designed to help the club either rebuild or move away from Stamford Bridge, improving their training base at Cobham as well as pursuing a multiclub model which Boehly and Clearlake believe is essential for future growth.

Sources have suggested Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon is one club viewed as a prime candidate to form part of the multiclub model.

Ares, Chelsea and representatives for Boehly all declined to comment when contacted by ESPN.

Former Chelsea director Mike Forde now works as an adviser for Ares, and sources have told ESPN he has played a key role in the deal.

Boehly and Clearlake agreed a £4.25bn deal to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich last year, which comprised a £2.5bn sale price plus a commitment to invest a further £1.75bn in "further investment for the benefit of the club."

They are yet to decide whether it would be possible to redevelop the current Stamford Bridge site or move elsewhere, although it remains to be seen whether the Chelsea Pitch Owners, an independent not-for-profit company which owns the stadium freehold and the name Chelsea FC, could be convinced to sanction relocating the club.

In July, the club took a significant step towards staying at Stamford Bridge by agreeing an £80m deal to buy the 1.2-acre Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions site next to the existing plot.

That deal is subject to a resident consultation period, which ends on Wednesday.

However, even the completion of that deal would not guarantee that Chelsea remained at Stamford Bridge given the ongoing complexities of redeveloping the site.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry is also reportedly part of a consortium to have held talks with Boehly over fresh investment.