Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has launched a £1billion bid to buy Arsenal.
The 63-year-old currently owns 30 per cent of the club through Red & White Holdings and has made a move to wrestle a further 67 per cent away from majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.
Press Association Sport understands a formal bid was made for Kroenke’s shares but it is believed the American is expected to reject the offer.
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Usmanov has been a shareholder at the Premier League club since 2007 and upped his stake from 14.6 per cent to 30 when he bought out Farhad Moshiri in 2016.
He has a fractious relationship with Kroenke and last month he claimed that the club’s issues should not be placed solely at the door of manager Arsene Wenger.
“I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening,” he told Bloomberg – adding that the board, and main shareholder (Kroenke) “bear huge responsibility.”
The Gunners face a multi-million pound drop in revenue if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
They face Everton in the final round of Premier League matches on Sunday and need to win, with other results going their way, if they are to finish in the top four.
Despite the prospect of making a large profit, Kroenke appears to not want to sell.
That does not mean Usmanov has been put off and he could yet return with an increased bid – with Forbes currently listing his wealth at £11.2bn.