Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote who’s worth £10billion has made no secret of his desire to make an offer for Arsenal and it has been revealed that he aims to replace Arsene Wenger with a combination of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, the Daily Star reports.
Dangote is confident that he will be able to make an offer that cannot be refused to our major shareholders, which includes current owner Stan Kroenke and our other multi-billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov.
The power-struggle between the latter duo has been evident over the past few years with Usmanov not even offered a seat on the board, despite owning more than a 30% stake in our club (via the Mirror).
“Wenger needs to change his style a bit. They need new direction,” Dangote was quoted as saying in the publication.
“I still hope I will buy the team. I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”
In addition to those quotes, a source close to the potential deal told the Daily Star that the Nigerian billionaire aims to appoint Patrick Vieira as manager with Thierry Henry alongside him should he become successful in a takeover bid.
“The plan would be to get Patrick and Thierry on the coaching staff for a period before giving them the reins and with Arsene taking a place on the board and eventually becoming chairman,” the source suggested.
Just how Dangote plans to convince Kroenke to sell is yet to be determined given that the American is not known for selling any of his sports franchises.
The only ray of hope for Dangote is one from a business stance with Kroenke making very little, if any, profit from Arsenal given the way the club is run.
Despite the £3m paid to his organisation at the end of last season (via The Telegraph), Kroenke hasn’t taken much money out of the club and given that he hasn’t invested a penny either, one suspects that he could be waiting for our club’s value to reach its peak before selling up.
According to Forbes’ most recent calculation regarding the most valuable football clubs, we were valued at £860m. Considering that Kroenke’s takeover was valued at £731m (via The Guardian), he could be set to generate a huge profit should he accept an offer which exceeds our current value.
We are yet to determine whether or not Dangote is serious; but if he is, we could be set for an interesting few months.