Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly is reportedly holding talks over the possibility of purchasing a team in the Portuguese Primera Liga in a bid to have a destination where promising young club talents could secure valuable first-team football.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly edging closer to buying second football club
Boehly is also said to be making the plans with the agent of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The co-owner/chairman is said to be holding discussions with Chelsea’s academy manager Neil Bath and high-profile Portuguese football agent Jorge Mendes.
Why Portugal for Boehly?
It is believed that Bath has been attempting to determine which club would be the best fit for the squad to adopt as a sister team.
Should Chelsea decide to formally contact a club, Mendes' connections in Portugal make him the perfect middleman to facilitate a transaction.
Young footballers from Portugal have gone on to have successful careers in other parts of Europe, and given its standing as one of the best leagues outside of Europe's recognised top five, Boehly thinks Portugal is a fantastic opportunity to increase Chelsea's global presence.
Chelsea eying Manchester City, RB Lepzig models
Chelsea are aiming at adopting a multi-club model implemented by the Red Bull Group and the City Football Group.
The Red Bull Group boasts of four clubs across three continents - RB Salzburg (Austria), RB Leipzig (Germany), New York Red Bulls (United States) and RB Bragantino (Brazil).
The City Football Group, on the other hand, owns 11: Manchester City (England), Melbourne City (Australia), Mumbai City (India), Palermo (Italy), New York City (United States), Girona (Spain), Montevideo City Torque (Uruguay), Yokohama F. Marinos (Japan), Sichuan Jiuniu (China), Lommel SK (Belgium) and Troyes (France).
What has been said?
"We’ve talked about having a multi-club model. I would love to continue to build out the footprint," Boehly said while confirming his plans to expand Chelsea’s portfolio of teams.
"There’s different countries where there are advantages to having a club. Red Bull does a really good job at Leipzig and they’ve got Salzburg, both of which are playing in the Champions League so they’ve figured out how to make that work. You have Man City which has a very big network of clubs.
"The challenge Chelsea has, when you have 18, 19, 20-year-old stars, you can loan them out to clubs but you hand their development to someone else.
"Our goal is to ensure we show pathways for our young stars to get on to the Chelsea pitch while getting them real game time. The way to do that is through another club in a really competitive league in Europe."
It is unknown at what stage discussions are, at the moment.