Alisher Usmanov has told Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke that he is not willing to sell his shares to the American, but revealed he is open to being approached by other potential buyers.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Kroenke made a £525million bid to buy Usmanov's 30 per cent share of the club.
Such a purchase would take Kroenke's ownership of the club to 97 per cent, but Usmanov – who bid £1bn for his counterpart's shares in May – is not budging.
The Uzbek, a shareholder since 2007, is adamant that he is looking out for the fans' best interests, and even suggested that he would consider selling up if a party with a similar outlook came forward.
"I see my 30 per cent stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the club," he said in a widely reported statement.
"My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available.
"I would like to assure supporters that I am open to various future scenarios - a constructive partnership with the majority shareholder, the purchase of his stake either alone or in a consortium, or if a party appears who shares mine and undoubtedly the majority of fans' vision for the club, I could consider the question of selling my stake."
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