Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Usmanov bid to buy Arsenal rejected by Kroenke

Usmanov owns 30 percent of Arsenal's shares, but is not part of the board or involved in decision-making at Emirates Stadium.

In terms of the top four, the damage was done long before Ronald Koeman and Everton rolled into north London.

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov on Friday made a $1.3 billion bid to buy Arsenal from American Stan Kroenke, Financial Times has reported.

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Usmanov's offer values the club at as much as 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a confidential matter.

Kroenke, the United States billionaire, was targeted by sections of Arsenal's support on Sunday at a perceived lack of investment and leadership.

But with Kroenke showing no interest, the bid has in effect been rejected, though Usmanov is yet to receive written confirmation.

On the pitch, the club face Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

The American, who also owns National Football League franchise Los Angeles Rams and MLS outfit Colorado Rapids, increased his shareholding at the Gunners to 67.05% in May 2016.

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?

"Overall I believe that we played since January in a very hard environment for different reasons", Wenger said.

"I would like him to stay to try to develop something to challenge for the Premier League, but at the moment we are quite a way away".

"It is the technical department who is responsible for that".

"I respect Stan Kroenke a lot".

Speaking after the Everton win, Wenger told TalkSport: "No matter what happens, I'm convinced this group will win the Premier League [either] next year or [in the future]".

Arsenal will play in the Europa League for the first time next season and missing out on Europe's premier tournament may not sit well with their star players.

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