Usmanov won't sell Arsenal stake to Kroenke, £2bn offer still stands

Arsenal's minority owner Alisher Usmanov says he is not involved in any discussions with majority shareholder Stan Kroenke about selling his stake in the club to the American.

Usmanov issued a statement on Wednesday to address reports that Kroenke has made a £525 million ($696.8m) offer for his 30 percent stake in the club.

The Russian billionaire made it clear he has no interest in selling to Kroenke, but that the offer he made to the American for his stake in May "remains valid."

Usmanov also said he'd consider selling his stake to a third party, but only if it shared his "vision" for how the club should be run.

"In light of [reports], I would like to be clear that I am not holding any talks with Mr. Kroenke about a sale," Usmanov's statement read. "My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available.

"This I did with the purchase of the stake of my business partner Farhad Moshiri with which I increased my shareholding from 15 percent to 30 percent, and also with my proposed offer for the stake of the majority shareholder which valued the Club at some £2billion ($2.65bn). That offer remains valid today.

"I have always been and will continue to be an ardent supporter of Arsenal and I see my 30 percent stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the Club."

Usmanov owns significantly less than Kroenke, who controls a 67 percent stake. The two were involved in a takeover battle for several years that was eventually won by Kroenke in 2011, and have never had a working relationship since then.

Usmanov has been refused a seat on the club board -- which includes Kroenke and his son Josh -- and has no control over day-to-day operations or major decisions.

Usmanov made it clear that he still wants to increase his stake in the club, but left open the possibility of selling to someone other than Kroenke.

"It has been well documented that I have no say in the running of the club, that my views differ from those of the majority shareholder and that I would take a different approach to delivering footballing success," Usmanov continued.

"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 my and undoubtedly the majority of fans' vision for the club, I could consider the question of selling my stake."