Arsenal need a change of direction - Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote
Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, who has expressed an interest in buying Arsenal, has told the BBC that the Gunners need new ownership if they are to progress in the Premier League.
Dangote, 58, is Africa's richest man according to Forbes, and is worth a reported $15.7 billion which puts him 67th on the list of the world's richest people.
The Nigerian has held an interest in Arsenal for a long time and wants to help the club back into the race for the Premier League title by taking over as owner.
The Gunners have a history of selling star players like Robin van Persie (£25 million to Man Utd in 2012) and Cesc Fabregas (to Barcelona in 2011 for £35 million), while they also moved on Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri to title rivals Man City for over £50 million in recent years.
"They are doing well, but they need another strategic direction," Dangote said. "They need more direction than the current situation, where they just develop players and sell them."
American businessman Stan Kroenke currently holds a 67 percent stake in Arsenal, while Red and White Holdings, backed by Russian magnate Alisher Usmanov, has 30 percent.
Dangote was linked with an approach to buy a stake in the club in 2010, before he pulled out, but now believes that the building of an oil refinery in his homeland will give him the funds to return with a new offer.
"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," he added. "When we get this refinery on track, I will have enough time and enough resources to pay what they are asking for."