African’s richest man Aliko Dangote has revealed his plan to buy Arsenal in two years time amid growing speculation that minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov could be prepared to sell his stake.
The 61-year-old Nigerian businessman, who is worth $13.8 billion (£10.4bn) according to Forbes, has been linked with purchasing a share in Gunners for several years now.
According to a report from the Financial Times on Wednesday claiming that Russian-Uzbek business magnate Usmanov was willing to sell his 30.04 per cent stake in Arsenal and would even consider doing business with majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.
And when asked about Usmanov’s potential intentions, Dangote insisted he still has a keen interest in buying the North London outfit.
“We will go after Arsenal from 2020 … even if somebody buys, we will still go after it,” Dangote told Reuters.
Dangote added that the need for healthy cash flow until completion of his oil refinery project rules out a move for Arsenal before then.
Usmanov had previously made a $1.3 billion offer to buy out Kroenke, but KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) UK Inc said its shares in the Premier League club were not for sale.
Last year, Aliko Dangote said he thought Kroenke would budge for the right price.
“If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away,” he said. “Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away. And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that.”