Usmanov makes $1.2billion bid to buy Arsenal

Mr Usmanov is not planning on disposing of his stake and the offer to buy out Mr Kroenke came from a desire to work co-operatively and strengthen the team, one of these people said.

On Friday, it was claimed that the Russian oligarch - worth an estimated £11bn - had made the bid to take full control of the Gunners, with Kroenke now owning a 67% share.

With the future of manager Arsène Wenger yet to be determined, Usmanov has himself said the Frenchman should not take sole responsibility for the club's poor performance this season, adding the board, including Stan Kroenke, must take responsibility also.

Arsenal Football Club's 67% owner Stan Kroenke has officially rejected a rumoured £2bn takeover bid from Uzbeki billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov.

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Standard Sport understands there are members of Arsenal's board who are sympathetic to Usmanov's overtures, not least due to the growing fan unrest towards Kroenke and his stewardship of the club.

The Gunners, who finished fifth in the Premier League this season, face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

This is not the first such buyout attempt made by Usmanov, and there were rumblings that after this disappointing season when Arsenal look likely to miss out on a Champions League spot for the first time in 20 years, Kroenke would want to sell out.

Fan protests have mounted against manager Arsene Wenger with calls for him to leave after nearly 21 years in charge. "I don't see what he has to do with that".

Also, a very big weekend in the Premier League for both Liverpool and Arsenal as they both look to capture the last qualification spot in next year's Champions League. Does Kroenke and Wenger both need to go?

Other bidders are thought to be ready to make a move for Kroenke's share in Arsenal and Usmanov could return with a more substantial bid.

  • Steve Townsend