Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has once again been linked about his desires to buy Arsenal from American owner, Stan Kroenke.
Kroenke has proved unpopular with many fans since taking over at the Emirates Stadium.
This is mainly down to a lack of investment in the squad coupled with poor returns on the pitch in comparison to other Premier League rivals in recent years.
However, there could be some light at the end of the tunnel as talks over a potential takeover at Arsenal could start up in the not too distant future.
Dangote’s bid to takeover the Gunners appears to be edging closer according to The Africa Report stating his oil refinery is set to be operational by 2021, meaning he can soon start talks with Kroenke in regards to taking control in north London.
Dangote has previously spoken about becoming Arsenal’s owner on multiple occasions.
In June, 2015, Dangote admitted he was interested in buying Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s 15.9 per cent stake in 2011, which were eventually purchased by Kroenke
“There were a couple of us who were rushing to buy, and we thought with the prices then, the people who were interested in selling were trying to go for a kill.
“We backtracked, because we were very busy doing other things, especially our industrialisation. When we get this refinery on track, I will have enough time and enough resources to pay what they are asking for.”
In September 2016, Dangote stated that a takeover would be a question of timing rather than money.
“It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing with business as usual,” Dangote said.
“It’s about buying Arsenal and turning it around. I’ve run a very successful business and I think I can also run a very successful team. Right now, with what we’re facing, over $20billion of projects, I cannot do both.
“There’s no doubt I’ll buy Arsenal, it’s not a problem of money
“The issue is that we have more challenging headwinds. I need to get those out the way first and start having tailwinds. Then I’ll focus on this.”
In August 2017, Dangote reiterated his desire to become the next Arsenal owner.
“I don’t want to go after Arsenal until I deliver the refinery. Once I deliver, I will go after Arsenal.
“At the moment we are a little bit off track. We didn’t really realise that we were going to need almost 70 million cubic meters of sand. But we are catching up, and I’m sure we’ll be able to deliver it by the last quarter of 2017.”
And in January 2020, he stated once more that when his current business interests are concluded, he will move on to the Gunners.
“It is a team that yes I would like to buy some day, but what I keep saying is we have $20billion worth of projects and that’s what I really want to concentrate on. I’m trying to finish building the company and then after we finish, maybe some time in 2021 we can.
“I’m not buying Arsenal right now; I’m buying Arsenal when I finish all these projects, because I’m trying to take the company to the next level.”
According to KPMG report in 2020 – who measure clubs’ enterprise value, which is a measure of a company’s total value – a popular metric used to value a company for a potential takeover – stands at over £2billion.
And with Dangote reportedly worth $17.8billion, that would give him ample money to spend on buying Kroenke out.