Chelsea sound out Twickenham over stadium use

Chelsea have sounded out the Rugby Football Union (RFU) over a temporary move to Twickenham.

FILE: Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas takes a shot during a Uefa Champions League game against Schalke 04 on 17 September 2014. Picture: Official Chelsea Facebook page.

LONDON - Chelsea have sounded out the Rugby Football Union (RFU) over a temporary move to Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby, in the event of Stamford Bridge being redeveloped.

"We have had an inquiry from Chelsea FC but have not had any discussions of any substance," the RFU told the Sunday Times newspaper.

"While we don't comment on any specific confidential conversations, each request is taken on its merit, assessing a variety of factors, such as the effect on the pitch, availability, transport and local considerations and other important implications."

Chelsea are keen to expand their current capacity from 41,623 to 60,000 in an attempt to compete with rivals Arsenal and Manchester United who attract weekly attendances of 60,000 and 75,000 at the Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford respectively.

Twickenham, which will be hosting the Rugby World Cup in September and October 2015, has a capacity of 82,000.

A redevelopment of Stamford Bridge is seen as a more likely option than any relocation of the west London club but a Chelsea spokesman said any talks were still at an embryonic stage.

"We're investigating different scenarios as part of the consultation process we started earlier this year, but have had no discussions of substance so far," he told the newspaper.