As Roman Abramovich is set to sell Chelsea, many bizarre, as well as amusing revelations, are being made about the Russian. Roman Abramovich came under immense pressure to sell Chelsea since Russia invaded Ukraine. However, as soon as he put the club on sale, the British government imposed heavy sanctions on Abramovich. But it would only delay Chelsea’s sale, and not prevent it. However, amidst all the chaos, many people who worked with or had encounters with Abramovich have opened up about their experiences. Former Blues right-back Glen Johnson has now shared a baffling story about the Russian.
Glen Johnson joined Chelsea in 2003 from West Ham for a fee of £7.4 million. Johnson was at the club from 2003 to 2007 but spent his last season on loan with Portsmouth. However, the right-back still managed 71 appearances for Chelsea over three seasons.
Johnson won two Premier League titles and a League Cup with the Blues. One of the signings from Abramovich’s first season as Chelsea owner, Johnson left the Blues permanently for Portsmouth in 2007. Johnson has now revealed how Abramovich tried to convince him to re-sign for Chelsea after he left Portsmouth in 2009.
Johnson reveals how Abramovich tried to re-sign him for Chelsea
Though Johnson was signed by Abramovich for Chelsea, he never hit the expectations for the Blues. As a result, he left on-loan for Portsmouth in 2006 and joined them permanently the following season. The England international revived his career at Portsmouth, and Chelsea came calling again, this time however, it was Roman Abramovich himself who reached Johnson’s house to convince him to re-sign for Chelsea.
Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, Johnson was speaking to Ladbrokes about the time when Abramovich came to meet him at his house. Johnson said,
“I had a couple of options open to me when I left Portsmouth – and a return to Chelsea or even a move up to Manchester City were both massively on the cards before I settled on Liverpool. I had Roman [Abramovich] and his team over at my house and they were trying to get me to return to the club, and I was super close to doing so.”
Johnson further added,
“It was actually Tottenham Hotspur who were first to the table, but that offer came halfway through the season. That one fizzled out as the campaign went on, then I’d say Chelsea were the next ones who expressed serious interest in me, then Man City came in and, obviously, Liverpool also came along.”
The former right-back explains why he rejected a return to Chelsea
Abramovich’s efforts didn’t lure Johnson as he signed for Liverpool in the end. The right-back spent six years at Anfield, making 200 appearances for the Reds. Johnson has further explained why he chose Liverpool and not a move back to Chelsea.
“It’s a tough decision when you’ve got three world-class teams trying to sign you; don’t get me wrong it’s a nice problem to have, but I feel like I made the right choice in the end,”
Johnson confessed he liked “the idea of moving away from London”, thus rejecting Abramovich and Chelsea.
“I’d already spoken to the majority of the Liverpool players before I made the move – they didn’t have to reach out to me, but a few of them did so beforehand and they were desperate for me to go there. I also wanted a new challenge; I liked the idea of moving away from London,”
“Look, I could’ve signed for Chelsea and stayed living in the same house I was sat in with Roman when he tried to bring me back. I knew the area well, my friends and family were all nearby, and it would’ve been easy for me in terms of settling. But I actually thought moving away would help me and the family; going and experiencing somewhere new, not knowing what to expect, and representing a fantastic club at the end of it.”
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