Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote still keen on Arsenal takeover

The 58-year-old, Africa’s richest man, failed in a bid to buy the Gunners in 2010 and says that he will concentrate on his own business before submitting a new offer

African billionaire Aliko Dangote admits that he remains keen on buying Arsenal.

The 58-year-old Nigerian, who is worth an estimated £10.3 billion – which makes him Africa’s richest man – explored the possibility of purchasing the club in 2010 but his approach was rejected.

“I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team,” Dangote told Bloomberg Business. “I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”

Dangote, who has made his fortune through various operations including cement manufacturing, sugar supply and oil investments, says that he will concentrate on expanding his own business before launching a new offer for Arsenal.

“We have $16bn-worth [£10.5bn] of investments in the next few years. Right now I want to take my own business to a certain level. Once I finish on that trajectory, then maybe [an offer will follow],” he continued.

Dangote is an Arsenal fan but has criticised Arsene Wenger, claiming that the 65-year-old “needs to change his style a bit” and warning that the club “need new direction”.

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Wenger: Arsenal will only buy world-class stars

The manager says he is keen to keep his squad together as he plans to challenge Chelsea for the title next season, emphasising his desire to only sign the very best

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will only look to sign world-class talent in this summer’s transfer window.

The Gunners defeated Hull City 3-1 at the KC Stadium on Monday night, hauling them back level on points with second-place Manchester City, over whom they have a game in hand.

The club’s marquee summer signing, Alexis Sanchez, scored twice against the Tigers and Wenger says the north Londoners will look to acquire a similar calibre of player this summer.

“We have a big squad and we have to see now how we finish. We want to focus now on finishing the season well and then we will see what we can do, but the basis is there to build on,” he told reporters.

“We do not need to buy a number of players. If we find top, world-class players we look at it but we have a very strong squad already in numbers, and the basis is to get together, stay together, and start well next season.”

Chelsea secured the Premier League title on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace but Wenger believes Arsenal will be in contention next year.

He added: “Give me a little breather until August.

“What is at stake now is to finish the season well. If we maintain our run then we will finish second and we still have the FA Cup final – we will see where we are after that.

“I am always optimistic, because in this job if you are pessimistic, you don’t go far.

“I feel like we have made progress and Chelsea was the winner this year because they’ve been the most consistent team of all.

“Let’s finish well, prepare well for next season and give them a good fight.”

I didn't expect Alexis to score so many, admits Wenger

The Chilean took his season’s tally to 24 in all competitions with a double against Hull, and Arsenal’s manager has admitted he expected him to be a provider rather than a scorer

Arsene Wenger says he is surprised by how many goals Alexis Sanchez has scored for Arsenal after the Chilean’s brace helped his side to a 3-1 victory over Hull City.

Sanchez has enjoyed a superb debut campaign in the Premier League after joining from Barcelona for around €40 million last summer, becoming the first Arsenal player to score 20 goals in his maiden season since Thierry Henry.

And Wenger hailed the 26-year-old’s impact, admitting that he did not envisage him getting on the scoresheet as regularly as he has.

When asked by Sky Sports if Alexis had surpassed his expectations, Wenger said: “Yes, because I expected him to be more of a provider than a goal scorer, because as well I play him on the flank where you have less chances, but he has the timing and the quality of his runs are very good and he gets in good areas to finish.”

As well as Sanchez’s individual performance, Wenger declared himself pleased with Arsenal’s overall display against Hull.

The victory was the Gunners’ ninth in 10 Premier League games and moved them level on points with Manchester City in second place.

“I’m very happy with the performance because we had a fluent game,” Wenger added.

“The amazing thing is the two goals we scored were deflections and the clear-cut chances we had we didn’t score. Overall you could see a good dynamic in the team and our game was very good.”

Hull City 1-3 Arsenal: Alexis and Ramsey tame sorry Tigers

First-half strikes from the Chilean forward and Welsh midfielder helped the Gunners to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games and condemn Hull to a first defeat in three

A first-half brace from Alexis Sanchez helped Arsenal roar to a convincing 3-1 victory over Premier League strugglers Hull City.

The Chilean opened the scoring with a free-kick that flicked off the head of Michael Dawson, before Aaron Ramsey doubled the Gunners’ lead with another deflected strike.

Sanchez made it three in first-half injury time, rounding Steve Harper and rolling the ball into an empty net for his 16th goal of the campaign.

Stephen Quinn clawed one back for the Tigers with a header in the 56th minute, but Arsene Wenger’s side held out to secure all three points.

The win was Arsenal’s ninth in ten games and moves them level on points with Manchester City in second place, while Hull drop to 17th, just a single place and point above the drop zone with three games remaining.

Hull will require greater luck in their remaining fixtures after Sone Aluko wasted a good opening early on and Arsenal were rewarded for their own positive start 28 minutes in when Sanchez’s free-kick struck the head of Dawson, wrong-footing Harper on its way into the net.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side five minutes later, with another deflected strike putting them further behind.

Santi Cazorla spotted Ramsey’s forward run and the Wales midfielder controlled the Spaniard’s fine pass instantly before turning and letting fly with a shot from inside the penalty area which hit Robbie Brady before looping into the far corner of the net. 

Hull were struggling to cope with Sanchez’s movement and Harper did well to deny him when Cazorla split open the Tigers’ defence with a sublime pass.

Bruce’s side failed to learn their lesson as Sanchez struck again in first-half stoppage time, beating the goalkeeper with his first touch and finishing with his second after Ramsey turned provider with an incisive pass.

Hull pulled a goal back out of the blue 11 minutes into the second half, with Quinn the unlikely scorer, timing his run to perfection to head home Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross from close range.

Arsenal felt referee Lee Mason should have awarded a free-kick for a David Meyler challenge on Laurent Koscielny in the build-up to the goal, and they almost conceded again as Paul McShane headed just over the crossbar.

Sanchez spurned two good openings for his hat-trick but his double was enough, though Nikica Jelavic’s return from two months out may provide a crumb of comfort for Hull ahead of the weekend’s visit of Burnley.

Wenger: Arsenal don’t need big changes this summer

The manager says the recent form of Mesut Ozil and David Ospina – plus the imminent return of Lukas Podolski, Joel Campell & Yaya Sanogo – proves their strength

Arsene Wenger does not believe that Arsenal need big changes this summer as his players have proved this season that the Gunners have a strong squad.

The north Londoners take on Hull City on Monday having lost just once in their last 13 games, a run that has seen them surge into third place in the Premier League and secure an FA Cup final spot.

Summer signing Alexis Sanchez has been key to Arsenal’s form this season, top-scoring with 22 goals so far, while Mesut Ozil’s return from injury has also given the Gunners a boost.

Indeed, when asked by reporters how his side’s recent form had changed his plans with regards summer transfer activity, Wenger replied: “Massive changes.

“Massive because I believe that some players who were questioned, like Mesut Ozil, have made big improvements in the second part of the season and becomes slowly the leader you want him to be in guiding our game.

“We are not in need of absolute change. We have a strong squad. We have some strong young players behind.

“We have a big squad now – Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell, Yaya Sanogo [all on loan] will come back. If you add that to the number of players [we already have].”

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Petr Cech in recent weeks but Wenger insists that he is happy with the goalkeeping options currently at his disposal.

“I believe in the keepers I have. I believe that Wojciech Szczesny is a very good goalkeeper and David Ospina has come in and done a fantastic job,” he enthused.

“You look at the numbers in the Premier League and you look at who is top of all the goalkeepers, and you will see it’s Ospina.”