Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante said the Premier League team's players were caught off guard by Roman Abramovich's decision to sell the club following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but urged them to stay focused on their quest to finish in the top four in the Premier League.

Abramovich said on Wednesday he would sell Chelsea after 19 years amid growing calls for sanctions on the metals magnate, similar to those imposed on other Russian oligarchs, following Russia's invasion. Abramovich has made vast fortunes since the break-up of the Soviet Union but denies close links to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

"It was something we were not prepared for," Kante told Sky Sports on Thursday, referring to the announcement by Abramovich.