Usmanov backs Arsenal bid for Rooney

The Uzbek businessman has been a vocal critic of the board’s frugal policy in the past, and has urged the club to splash out for the Manchester United forward

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has urged the club to spend big in order to end their trophy drought, and believes Wayne Rooney would be an ideal signing.

The Uzbek-born Russian billionaire’s 29.9 per cent stake makes him the Gunners’ second-biggest shareholder, and he has backed the move for the Manchester United striker.

Rooney is open to the possibility of moving to the Emirates, with Arsene Wenger reportedly ready to meet his £20-25 million fee and hefty £250,000 weekly wage.

“He is a great player, there would be great success for Rooney [if he joined Arsenal], and for Arsenal too,” Usmanov told CNBC.

The richest man in Britain admitted to the growing frustration over Arsenal’s failure to win a trophy since 2005, but insisted that the board is completely behind Wenger.

“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 continued. “We should trust him.”

“It is high time for the club to win the highest trophies in the European Champions League, but I believe in the club’s future.”
The 59-year-old was highly critical of the board following Robin van Persie’s departure for Manchester United last summer, pinpointing a lack of ambition for the club’s inability to compete for major titles.

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