Gunners chief Usmanov wants Rooney at Arsenal

The Russian billionaire reckons the United striker would fit right in at the Emirates.

Image: Eamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment

ARSENAL SHAREHOLDER Alisher Usmanov has urged manager Arsene Wenger to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United.

Rooney’s days at Old Trafford – in which he has scored 179 goals in 365 appearances in all competitions – could be numbered after he handed in a transfer request at the end of last season. Arsenal are keen on bolstering their attacking options in the transfer window, with the 27-year-old Rooney believed to be one of their prime targets.

Russian billionaire Usmanov owns 29.9 per cent of Arsenal — making him the club’s second-biggest shareholder — and he has urged Wenger to chase Rooney.

Usmanov told CNBC: “He is a great player. There would be great success for Rooney (if he signed for Arsenal) and for Arsenal, too.”

Arsenal may not have won a trophy for eight years, but Wenger still has the full backing of Usmanov. And with a spending spree expected during the close-season, which could also see them complete a reported deal for Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain, Usmanov has backed Wenger to bring success to the club.

“We as shareholders point to some drawbacks in the management of the club but Wenger is a great coach and the club is progressing in the commercial sense,” he added. “We should trust him (Wenger). It is high time for the club to win the highest trophies in the Champions League but I believe the club’s future.”

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