Alisher Usmanov makes £1bn bid for majority sharehold of Arsenal

Image: Alisher Usmanov currently owns 30.04% of Arsenal through his Red and White Holdings investment vehicle

Alisher Usmanov has made a £1bn bid to buy the majority sharehold of Arsenal, according to Sky sources.

Sky Sports News HQ understands that current majority owner Stan Kroenke has yet to formally respond to the offer, but the American is expected to reject it.

Sky sources say Kroenke intends to remain at Arsenal for the long term, with his ambition to win the Premier League and make the Gunners stronger in Europe. Sources claim he is not motivated by money.

Uzbek-born Russian Usmanov, who has a personal fortune of around £11.2bn, has built a stake of just over 30 percent in the North London club since his initial investment in 2007.

He has been interested in taking control of the club from Kroenke, who also owns the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and been Arsenal's majority shareholder since 2011.

The American increased his shareholding - through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprise - to 67.05 percent in May 2016, with the purchase of 23 ordinary shares.

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke
Image: Stan Kroenke first bought into Arsenal in 2007

Usmanov recently stated his belief that Arsene Wenger should begin the process of identifying Arsenal's next manager, describing the long-serving Frenchan as the club's "main symbol and asset."

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"Some continuity is needed," Usmanov said in comments reported by Bloomberg last month. "This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor."

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