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Kante admits Chelsea players were not prepared for Abramovich exit

  • Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante has opened up on the reaction to Roman Abramovich news that he is selling the club
  • The midfielder has said Chelsea players were not prepared by the news and it was a shocking surprise
  • The news from Abramovich came just a few hours prior to Chelsea’s FA Cup clash with Luton Town and it was evident Chelsea players were not at their best during the match. Chelsea won 3-2

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has admitted that Chelsea players “were not prepared” for the news that Roman Abramovich wants to sell the club.

Abramovich announced on Wednesday, March 2 he had taken the “incredibly difficult” decision to put the club up for sale and donate the net proceeds to the victims of the war in Ukraine.

In a statement, he said the sale “will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process”, adding he will not be asking for loans to be repaid by the club.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has announced his decision to sell Chelsea Football Club. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

“This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and club,” he said.

“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.”

Abramovich’s decision came amid the threat of sanctions against further Russian businesses and high-profile individuals following the invasion of Ukraine a week ago.

The 55-year-old oligarch has been photographed with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past, and while it was claimed last week that Abramovich has no involvement in politics, a spokesperson for the Blues’ owner suggested to the Press Association on Monday that he was “trying to help” achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Kante says the players were shocked to hear the news just hours before their FA Cup win over Luton Town was due to kick off.

“We were not prepared,” he told Sky Sports. “It came quick. But the only thing we can do, because we don’t control these things, is to do the best as we have always done.

N'Golo Kante

N’golo Kante in action during a past Premier League match for Chelsea FC. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

“That means playing football at our best for us, for the club, for the fans. It’s the only thing we control, and we want to do that.”

Speaking on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kante said: “It’s sad to see things like this, and we can only hope it finishes as quickly as possible, in the best way.”

Kante, who turns 31 this month, is fully committed to the Chelsea cause and is not yet considering leaving Stamford Bridge.

“Most of the games have passed [this season], and we’re in a good position for the top four. It’s not going to be easy; we still need to win many games,” he said.

“Since I came here, I spent many great seasons, many successes with the players, the managers, the fans. I hope we can carry on like this: keep winning, keep celebrating many great achievements. This is the way I see the future.”

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