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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Billionaire Nigerian threatens to sack Wenger if successful in Arsenal bid

The Frenchman is Europe’s longest-serving manager but will be shunted should Africa’s richest man take over in North London.

Arsene Wenger (file pic).
Arsene Wenger (file pic).

ARSENE WENGER WILL be sacked as Arsenal manager should Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote succeed in buying the Premier League club.

Wenger has been in charge of Arsenal’s first-team affairs since 1996, leading the Gunners to seven FA Cups, three Premier League titles, and a Champions League final.

Without a title-winning campaign since 2003-04, though, pressure has grown on the Frenchman to leave his position.

Wenger signed a two-year contract extension at the club at the end of the 2016-17 season, despite finishing fifth in the Premier League table. Should Dangote take over, he will end Wenger’s reign at the club.

“The first thing I would change is the coach,” Dangotem who has already outlined his early plans for Arsenal and its backroom structure, told Bloomberg.

“He has done a good job, but someone else should also try his luck.”

The 60-year-old, estimated to be Africa’s richest man with a wealth of around £11 billion, has long sought after ownership of the north London club and insists he will be ready to table an official bid once the construction of an $11bn oil refinery in Lagos is completed.

Arsenal have been the focus of a number of takeover bids, with Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who already holds a 30% stake in the club, attempting to buy out majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke.

The American businessman owns around 67% of the Gunners, and turned down a deal which valued the club at around £2bn.

Dangote believes that the Arsenal bigwigs could be convinced to walk away though, and has promised that he will one day be in charge at the Emirates.

If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away,” Dangote added. “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.

“It’s a great team, well-run. It could be run better, so I will be there. I will wait. Even if things change I will take it.”

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