Premier League - Paper Round: Arsenal set for £1.5bn takeover bid

Arsenal have been criticised for their frugal ways in the past - but big money could be about to flow into the Emirates.

Reuters
Premier League - Paper Round: Arsenal set for £1.5bn takeover bid
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The Emirates Stadium

According to both the Sunday Telegraph and The Sun, a Middle Eastern Investment group are set to offer a world record fee of £1.5 billion for complete control of the football club.

Such a bid would be almost double the current record price paid for a football club which currently stands at the £800m paid by the Glazers for Manchester United.

According to the Telegraph the funds would come from both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The group would first look to purchase majority shareholder Stan Kroenke's 66.64 per cent share in the club for around £830m which would net the American a profit of £350m.

The same offer – around £20,000 a share – would be offered to other shareholders including Uzbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov who holds a 29.11 per cent stake.

Crucially, though, the investment group would be willing to work with Usmanov if he decides against selling his stake.

The Telegraph reports: "A meeting has already been requested with (Kroenke) to discuss the proposed offer. The seriousness of the bid is reinforced by the recent successful takeovers of Manchester City and Paris St-Germain by Middle East backers.

"Any takeover would inevitably raise questions over the future of manager Arsene Wenger, although the Frenchman is understood to be highly-regarded by the consortium. They do not want to lose his football knowledge and want him to remain at the club."

The newspaper report got so widely reported on Sunday that Arsenal were forced into a statement denying the claim.

"Stan Kroenke is committed to Arsenal for the long term and has no intention of selling his stake," Arsenal communications director Mark Gonnella told Reuters.

"There has been no contact from any potential investors," he added.

The Telegraph had stated that the bid would wipe out club debts which stand at around £250 million and that "there would be substantial transfer funds made available to transform the club into a major force in European and world football…and there would also be a pledge to reduce ticket prices at the Emirates Stadium — currently among the highest in the world — as well as an attempt to recreate 'some of the feel of the old North Bank' at Highbury".

A bid source told the Telegraph: "Arsenal is at a pivotal position at the moment. The fear is that the club is facing a cycle of decline like Liverpool. From our point of view it is the perfect moment to make this bid because at this moment in time you can still genuinely justify this extraordinary valuation on the club.

"We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again.

"We think that bidding now is the key because it is going to give every shareholder maximum value. We are giving them peak valuation.

“The amount of capital required to pump into Arsenal to make it competitive within England, Europe and the world means that the valuation cannot go any higher.”

To some other rumours and Cristiano Ronaldo is willing to take a massive pay cut to sensationally rejoin Manchester United, according to The Sun.

"Mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain are ready with a package worth £130 million to tempt him to France," the paper says.

"But Ronaldo has made his advisors aware he would sacrifice the huge pay-day to move back to Old Trafford for HALF the amount."

Real Madrid are ready to make a summer raid on Tottenham – for Kyle Walker, though, rather than Gareth Bale. Walker signed a five-year deal at Spurs less than a year ago, so Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would demand at least £15 million for him. (Sunday People)

Manchester City have targeted Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain to solve their goal-scoring problems with Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski another option. They would cost £25 million each. (Sunday Mirror)

Fabio Capello is the shock candidate to save Chelsea’s season. While angry Chelsea fans refuse to accept Rafa Benitez as interim boss, Capello’s name is being discussed around the club as a short-term fix. (Sunday Mirror)

The Daily Star says that Juventus coach Antonio Conte would say "yes" if offered the Chelsea job in the summer.

Finally, Jonjo Shelvey could be on his way out of Anfield – with Stoke plotting a swoop in the summer. The ex-Charlton prospect has recently been frozen out of the first-team by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and sources say he will be allowed to leave for £7 million. (Sunday People)

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