Alisher Usmanov is said to have inquired directly with Palermo about the cost of Paulo Dybala, despite Arsene Wenger insisting that Arsenal aren’t interested in signing the Argentine striker.
The Uzbekistan business magnate owns around 25 per-cent of Arsenal, according to Daily Star, but has always been viewed as an outsider by the club and has yet to be granted a seat on the board of directors despite being Arsenal’s second largest shareholder.
The Daily Star site cites claims by the website of Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio, which says Usmanov wrote a letter inquiring about details on the status of Dybala.
This latest twist comes in the same week Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini claimed Arsenal had lodged a bid for the forward along with Juventus.
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Newcastle – Huge Tierney injury news
- Mesut Ozil to ‘terminate contract’ with Arsenal and join boyhood club
- [Player ratings] Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace: Flying save earns Gunners a drab point
But it’s a rather bizarre and unprecedented move from Usmanov, if true, because it’s unclear just what he’s got to gain from it, especially considering he holds no sway at the club and Arsene Wenger only yesterday denied any interest in Dybala.
Would he just buy a player? He can’t impose a signing on Arsenal directly, surely, and considering Wenger flat out rejected the idea of Dybala in his team it seems a quite strange bargaining chip for Usmanov to choose if he is indeed trying to get himself through the club’s front door for discussions.
But frankly, it’s just another inexplicable addition to the Usmanov playbook who amongst his littered history openly attacked and criticised the club’s management in 2012 for selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United and said they were responsible for Arsenal’s ten-year trophy-less run.
And just last year the billionaire said that Wenger’s ‘restrictive principles’ were becoming problematic and that he was making mistakes but not accepting them, as reported by Daily Mail.
To which Wenger replied: “First of all, the 18 years I have been here I have shown that I can take criticism and everybody has the right to have an opinion,
“Having said that, we have values at this club. The first one is when we go through a difficult patch, we show solidarity. That is a very important one.
“The second one is that, when you have something to say to each other, we say it face-to-face. We don’t need to go to the newspapers.”
Class as per.