Usmanov bid to buy Arsenal rejected by Kroenke


News of the bid was revealed by The Financial Times with sources confirming to Telegraph Sport that an offer had been made with Usmanov arguing that he has already demonstrated he has the long-term interests of the club at heart and, crucially, is willing to invest heavily to make it more competitive again on the pitch.

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is understood to have approached Stan Kroenke with a mega-money offer in an attempt to coax the majority shareholder into selling his stake in the club.

A source said to the Financial Times, regarding Usmanov's offer, "Two weeks ago, I thought something could realistically happen".

Last month, Usmanov reignited his war of words with Kroenke after insisting that Arsenal's board must take the blame for the club's current situation.

Wenger said his future won't be settled until a board meeting is held after Arsenal plays Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 27.

Kroenke, meanwhile, has a 67% stake in Arsenal and has been the club's majority shareholder since 2011.

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Kroenke's stance on Arsene Wenger's continued stewardship is unwavering, however with reports CEO Ivan Gazidis has suggested changes need to be made, might Kroenke yet be forced out of the club?

Usmanov now has the maximum stake he can hold without making an official takeover, with 30% ownership in his hands.

Mr Usmanov, who hails from what is now Uzbekistan, first acquired shares in Arsenal in 2007, when he teamed up with Farhad Moshiri to purchase a 14.6 per cent stake for £75 million (€87 million).

'I don't think the coach alone is to be blamed for what's happening, ' he told Bloomberg.

The fifth-placed Gunners face missing out on Champions League football next term. Arsenal have endured a turbulent season, in which they are likely to miss out on their traditional top-four finish, and the issue of whether the manager, Arsène Wenger, ought to continue into next season has polarised the fans.

Throughout the years he has increased his stake and secured 67 per cent last May.