Tag Archives: admiration

Arsene Wenger is preparing a bid for Edinson Cavani

Wenger admits Arsenal could drop Cavani move after being quoted staggering 91m

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

12:39 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 18 January 2013

Arsene Wenger has admitted his admiration for Edinson Cavani – but the Arsenal manager would be forced to shatter the club’s financial structure to sign the striker.

The total cost of landing the Napoli hitman could amount to a staggering 91million.

Speaking at the club’s London Colney HQ, Wenger admitted: ‘He is a player I like. He would cost a lot of money that’s for sure.

Main man: Napoli's Edinson Cavani is wanted by a host of top clubs

Main man: Napoli's Edinson Cavani is wanted by a host of top clubs

‘We can spend the money but I do not want to speak about Cavani because we have not made an enquiry for him.’

The Frenchman was asked the question amid fresh speculation linking the Gunners with the Uruguay international.

Wenger is fan of the forward but knows he’d have to stretch the club’s financial boundaries to land Cavani.

In addition to the 25-year-old has a 52million release clause, he would demand a five-year deal worth a minimum of 150,000-per-week.

Show me the money: Arsene Wenger is ready to spend big again at Arsenal

Show me the money: Arsene Wenger is ready to spend big again at Arsenal

Lukas Podolski is Arsenal’s current top earner on 90,000-per-week, while the capture of Andrey Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg for 15million remains their record signing.

Mega-rich Chelsea pulled their interest in Cavani over the summer due to the mammoth cost of bringing him to Stamford Bridge.

And whether Arsenal are prepared to smash their financial records to bring Cavani to London remains to be seen.

Red hot: Cavani has 23 goals in 22 games in all competitions this season

Red hot: Cavani has 23 goals in 22 games in all competitions this season

Arsene Wenger hints at Stephan El Shaarawy move in January

Wenger hints at January transfer swoop for Serie A top goalscorer El Shaarawy after refusing to rule out move for Milan star

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UPDATED:

12:36 GMT, 18 December 2012

Arsene Wenger could be ready to bolster Arsenal’s front line in the January transfer window with an audacious bid for highly-rated AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the 20-year-old for some time and Wenger has expressed his admiration of the Italian striker.

Wenger believes the Italy international would effortlessly slot into his side and believes his technical ability and speed make him an ideal signing.

Admirer: Arsene Wenger refused to rule out a move for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy

Admirer: Arsene Wenger refused to rule out a move for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy

The Frenchman told Eurosport: ‘El Shaarawy is a very mobile, very technical young player. His philosophy fits perfectly with mine.’

But Wenger will have a fight on his hands if he wants to land Serie A’s top goalscorer.

Milan are reluctant to part with El Shaarawy, who has scored 14 goals so far in the league, and are keen to get value for money should the 25million-rated striker push for a move in January.

Another stumbling block for Wenger is that the youngster would be loath to leave the Rossoneri, as a life-long fan of the club.

But despite the remote prospect of landing El Shaarawy in January, Wenger refused to rule out a move.

This weekend he said: ‘You never know. I just say I love the way he plays.’

Despite El Shaarawy’s exceptional season, his side sit in seventh place in Serie A after a disappointing start to their campaign.

Hair raising: It is believed El Shaarawy would cost in excess of 25million

Hair raising: It is believed El Shaarawy would cost in excess of 25million

Wenger is ready for a busy January transfer window, and has already been linked with a move for Barcelona right back Daniel Alves to improve his side's defensive record.

El Shaarawy isn't the only striker he has his eye on. Arsenal's all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry could make a return to the Emirates on loan in Januray, and Newcastle hitman Demba Ba could yet be persuaded to swap Tyneside for north London.

Meanwhile, Arsenal hammered Premier League strugglers Reading 5-2 at the Madejski Stadium last night, as they bounced back from last week's crippling defeat at the hands of Bradford in the Capital One Cup.

Returning hero: Thierry Henry may go back to the Emirates on loan

Returning hero: Thierry Henry may go back to the Emirates on loan

Robin van Persie is like Eric Cantona – Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson has found his new Eric as United boss compares RVP to legend Cantona

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UPDATED:

10:33 GMT, 18 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has compared star summer signing Robin van Persie with Manchester United legend Eric Cantona.

Van Persie arrived from Arsenal in the summer for 24million but has already formed a prolific partnership with Wayne Rooney and has settled into life at Old Trafford with spectacular ease.

Ferguson said: 'He has got a similar profile to Eric in terms of age and maturity. He had a great spell at Arsenal so there is no issue with him needing to settle into the Premier League.

Dutch of class: Van Persie has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his 24m arrival

Dutch of class: Van Persie has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his 24m arrival

Dutch of class: Van Persie has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his 24m arrival

'He came from one big club to another big club and he is an established international. All these things in his profile suited us perfectly.'

When Cantona arrived in Manchester, he was credited with raising the game of the players around him and launching an era of United dominance in English football.

Ferguson believes Van Persie is capable of achieving something similar.

Ferguson said: 'I think it is happening, the attacking aspect of our game has definitely improved and of course he has weighed in with 14 goals so far. Chicharito has got nine goals, Rooney has seven I think and we have scored around 43 goals as team, which is quite a high amount for this time of year.'

French fancy: Cantona is one of United's all-time greats

French fancy: Cantona is one of United's all-time greats

In a wide-ranging interview with yahoo.com, Ferguson also speaks at length on how his socialist roots helped shape his approach to management, particularly his admiration for the Glasgow trade unionist Jimmy Reid.

Ferguson said: 'It has been fundamental I was brought up in socialist background and both of my parents were socialist. My father worked in the shipyards, I went into engineering and went into a trade union then.

'I think that coming from that area definitely encourages involvement in the respect because everyone is working class.

'Jimmy Reid lived about a mile away from me, as he was from Govern also. I used to remember Jimmy walking to the library every day with a pile of books under his arm.

'He wasn't into football the way many were as we would all be playing football or cuing up to play. Jimmy was absorbed in his education and it proved to be a great education because he proved to be a very intelligent guy.'

Liverpool"s Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones signs new deal

Jones handed new Liverpool deal after Aussie's improvements impress Rodgers

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UPDATED:

15:53 GMT, 13 December 2012

Brad Jones has been rewarded by Liverpool for the improvement he has shown this season with a new contract.

The Australian international only had six months left on the deal he initially signed when moving to Anfield from Middlesbrough in August 2010 but Liverpool have moved quickly to offer Pepe Reina’s understudy new extended terms.

Jones enjoyed his longest run in the team this autumn when he made seven consecutive appearances as Reina recovered from a hamstring problem; during that sequence, he kept two clean sheets. In all during this campaign, the 30-year-old has made 10 starts.

Safe hands: Goalkeeper Brad Jones has signed a new deal with Liverpool

Safe hands: Goalkeeper Brad Jones has signed a new deal with Liverpool

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers
revealed before last week’s Europa League game in Udinese that he wanted
to keep hold of Jones and, at the time, he stated his admiration for
the way the stopper – who played at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final
against Everton – has developed.

‘Brad is another one I would like to
keep,’ Rodgers said. ‘Of course you are always looking for talent but
what we have is one of the best No1 keepers in the Premier League and he
(Reina) is fighting to get to that level, which I think he is nearly
at.

‘Brad, who was a No3 or No 4 keeper
here, has really kicked on since the summer and in the games he has
played since the summer, showed he is very loyal and supportive No 2.

‘What is important in the dynamic of the group is that you have Pepe Reina, who is the No1 keeper clearly.

'Brad has then stepped up to the
plate and shown he is a very capable No 2 and our job then below that is
to ensure we have top young talents who can produce and challenge at
the top end.'

He may have grown up in Perth but
Jones has been a lifelong Liverpool supporter and when he was asked
earlier this season whether he would ever think about moving to a club
of a lesser stature to simply play games, his response was emphatic.

‘This was not just a move for me, it
was like an achievement,’ said Jones. 'There were two things I said when
I was eight years old; one was that I was going to play for Australia,
which I have, and the other was playing for Liverpool, which I’ve done
too.

'There is something about coming in (here) every day that makes everything you have sacrificed worthwhile.

'I would not walk away at all if I
was given the opportunity to stay. For as long as the manager wants me
at the club, I am willing to be here.'

Joleon Lescott wanted by Everton

Everton keen on Lescott reunion as defender falls out of favour at Man City

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 30 November 2012

Out of favour: Lescott

Out of favour: Lescott

David Moyes has admitted he would jump at the chance to re-sign Joleon Lescott if the defender feels he needs to seek a loan move from Manchester City.

The Everton manager sold Lescott to City in August 2009 for 23million. Although the money allowed him to reshape his squad, Moyes, who takes his side to the Etihad Stadium today, never really wanted the England defender to leave.

Moyes is looking to bolster his defence and has watched Molde’s Vegard Forren twice this month. But Lescott, who is entering the final 18 months of his contract, has been forced to play a bit-part role for City this season and has not featured since October 27.

Whether City would allow Lescott to leave in January is debatable, as they need cover when Kolo Toure heads for the Africa Cup of Nations. If that changed, however, Moyes would consider an enquiry.

‘If Joleon wanted to come back, and if I thought we needed him, I’d be delighted to have him back,’ said Moyes. ‘I’d have no problem having Joleon back. I’ve not thought about it but if he was available then he’d be someone I would show an interest in.’

Although Lescott left Everton in acrimonious circumstances, Moyes has never hidden his admiration for him as a player and when he tracked him at Wolves during the 2005/06 season, he compiled a dossier of 24 reports – 23 of which came back with top marks from his scouts.

Old acquaintances: Moyes (left) signed Lescott from Wolves

Old acquaintances: Moyes (left) signed Lescott from Wolves

‘When Joleon left, we were in a different place to where we are now,’ said Moyes. ‘I think there’s more solidity and Everton look more likely now to be at the top end than we were then. I could understand why the player wanted to go, there was a big project going on at Manchester City.

‘But it still was a disappointing one for me. I saw Jags (Phil Jagielka) and Joleon as being at that time behind John Terry and Rio Ferdinand as the next England partnership. Maybe I’m not that far off the mark, with where they are now.’

That Moyes has spoken about his admiration for Lescott has added an intriguing subplot to what promises to be one of the games of the day and Everton certainly travel to the Etihad Stadium in positive spirits.

When they last made the journey in September 2011, Moyes said he felt as if he was ‘walking into a gunfight with only a knife’, but City will not underestimate Everton this time, particularly as they have been a bogey team for Roberto Mancini.

Bogey team: City have struggled against Everton in recent years

Bogey team: City have struggled against Everton in recent years

Mancini has finished on the losing side five of the six times he has managed against Moyes and Everton were the last team to beat City at the Etihad Stadium in December 2010 – 36 games ago.

Leon Osman was part of the Everton squad that day and his form this season has mirrored that of his club. His rewards came when Roy Hodgson gave him his England debut against Sweden last month. After taking part in Movember, there is good reason why he wants to win a second cap.

‘I debated whether I should get rid of the moustache,’ said Osman. ‘But it’s a charity thing we’re doing and I’m not vain enough to care about things like that. If it is my only experience with England then so be it.

‘But hopefully I will be able to get more and I’d have the second one without! It’s a clich but if you want more of it, you have to earn it and keep on playing the way you are. We have to keep Everton playing the way we are, but get the results as well.’

Arsenal v Montpellier: Rene Girard – we know how to stop Olivier Giroud

We know how to stop Giroud from scoring, claims the Arsenal striker's former boss

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UPDATED:

19:12 GMT, 20 November 2012

Montpellier manager Rene Girard remains full of admiration for former striker Olivier Giroud, but will be all out to stop the Arsenal forward netting against his old club.

Giroud scored 21 goals to help fire Montpellier to the Ligue One title for the first time in their history last season, before joining Arsenal in a 12million summer transfer.

After a slow start, the France international has slowly grown into his new side, scoring five goals as many appearances.

French fancy: Giroud will face his former employers on Wednesday night

French fancy: Giroud will face his former employers on Wednesday night

Girard said: 'Olivier worked very hard for us and we almost sculpted him into the player he is today. We made history at the club and had great times.

'Unfortunately for us, he is rediscovering his best form and starting to score goals, but we have tactics to try to stop him.

'We know how good he is, but there are also lots of attacking threats here at Arsenal.'

Captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is looking forward to taking on his old team-mate.

The centre-half said: 'I know him and he knows me very well. 'We will see how we get on tomorrow, and I will work hard.'

Montpellier lost at home to Arsenal on matchday one and their hopes of making it out of Group B are now all but over, sitting bottom with just one point.

Girard said: 'I have told the team qualification for the knockout stages is over, but we still have a slight hope of qualification for the Europa League. “We need to look forward now and build for our Ligue 1 campaign.

'We need to be very solid, to try to get back to our usual form, and up the Ligue 1 table.'

The Montpellier manager added: 'It is a privilege to play in the Champions League, all of the team dreamt of this and fought for it all of last season.

'It has been quite liberating at times, but we just lacked a touch of experience at certain times in the games.

'We are just trying to find a bit more consistency in our results and a balance in our play.'

Manchester United want Bruno Gomes

United keeping tabs on Gomes after inviting Brazilian youngster for trials

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UPDATED:

22:11 GMT, 24 October 2012

Manchester United have invited Desportivo Brasil striker Bruno Gomes, 16, over for further trials.

Gomes has trained with the club previously but is wanted by a host of European clubs.

He has spoken of his admiration for United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Thumbs up: Bruno Gomes has been on trial with Manchester United

Thumbs up: Bruno Gomes has been on trial with Manchester United

'My goal is to become top scorer in the league, being the first Brazilian to do so, while also to be English champion and to win the Champions League,' he said.

'[Ferguson] is a legend in Manchester, where everybody respects him and to be close to him was great. In fact, he only asked about my position and if I spoke English. Then he talked with the club representative who took me to Manchester.'

On Gomes' Twitter account, he states that he is bound for Manchester.

“My goal is to become
top scorer in the league, being the first Brazilian to do so, while also
to be English champion and to win the Champions League,” he told
reporters.

“It was nice. [Ferguson] is a legend in Manchester, where everybody
respects him and to be close to him was great. In fact, he only asked
about my position and if I spoke English. Then he talked with the club
representative who took me to Manchester.”

Read the full story
on Sports Mole at:
http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/man-utd/transfer-talk/news/gomes-targets-success-with-united_51401.html”My goal is to become
top scorer in the league, being the first Brazilian to do so, while also
to be English champion and to win the Champions League,” he told
reporters.

“It was nice. [Ferguson] is a legend in Manchester, where everybody
respects him and to be close to him was great. In fact, he only asked
about my position and if I spoke English. Then he talked with the club
representative who took me to Manchester.”

Read the full story
on Sports Mole at:
http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/man-utd/transfer-talk/news/gomes-targets-success-with-united_51401.html”My goal is to become
top scorer in the league, being the first Brazilian to do so, while also
to be English champion and to win the Champions League,” he told
reporters.

“It was nice. [Ferguson] is a legend in Manchester, where everybody
respects him and to be close to him was great. In fact, he only asked
about my position and if I spoke English. Then he talked with the club
representative who took me to Manchester.”

Read the full story
on Sports Mole at:
http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/man-utd/transfer-talk/news/gomes-targets-success-with-united_51401.html

Northern Ireland hoping to ruin Ronaldo"s 100th Portugal cap

Northern Ireland hoping to ruin Ronaldo's big day when superstar earns his 100th cap

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UPDATED:

18:50 GMT, 14 October 2012

Aaron Hughes expects Cristiano Ronaldo to be at his world-beating best when Northern Ireland take on Portugal on Tuesday night.

The Real Madrid superstar is set to win his 100th cap in the World Cup qualifier at Porto's Dragao Stadium, and few would bet against him marking the occasion in style.

Northern Ireland, albeit weakened by withdrawals, leaked six goals in Holland in a summer friendly and Ronaldo will surely fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet on his big day.

Support: Cristiano Ronaldo visiting children in hospital at the Institute of Oncology in Porto

Support: Cristiano Ronaldo visiting children in hospital at the Institute of Oncology in Porto

Fulham centre-half Hughes is one of the men charged with confounding expectations, but he cannot hide his admiration for a player who has scored 14 times in 11 club matches this season.

'I have played a handful of times against him but maybe he has gone another level since his days in the Premier League, and maybe he can go further,' said Hughes.

'He has gone and become just as successful in Spain and maybe there's more to come from him.

'I don't think he has peaked, believe it or not. He is still going and appears to be getting better.

'Lionel Messi and Ronaldo are the two who stand out as the best two in the world.'

Hughes is holding out minimal hope of an off-day for the rampaging forward, which could spell bad news for a Northern Ireland side who have taken just one point from their first two matches in Group F.

Centurion: Ronaldo (centre) training ahead of Portugal's match against Northern Ireland

Centurion: Ronaldo (centre) training ahead of Portugal's match against Northern Ireland

'He is one of those players who makes
you feel as if he has been around forever and playing forever, so the
fact he's reaching 100 caps already doesn't surprise me, even at 27,'
said Hughes, himself a veteran on 82 international appearances.

'He is more than worthy of that, but that – whether it is his 100th or his 10th – what makes players great like that is they play like that every time and rarely have an off-night.

'The best players play at that level every single night whether it is the first game of the season, a windy night in November or the Champions League, it is just their way.

'It's not just technical ability, it is the attitude to reproduce that every single night. You look at sport in general, the likes of Michael Jordan, they are the best.'

Skills: Ronaldo in training at Vila Nova de Gaia

Skills: Ronaldo in training at Vila Nova de Gaia

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll,
now firmly re-established as the No 1 following Lee Camp's self-imposed
exile for personal reasons, is another man who can expect a busy night.

The Olympiakos player was a team-mate of Ronaldo's at Manchester United when he first arrived in England, and he is expecting to come up against an even more complete player than the one he used to train with.

'I played with him at Manchester United for two years and he couldn't speak English when he arrived but neither could I!' said Carroll.

'He was very hard working when he came from Sporting Lisbon and I learned from him, with the shots he put against me in training.

'He has developed himself since as an all-round player and we know what he can do.

'He is physically so much harder and worked a lot in the gym and looked after himself on and off the pitch. He's a much stronger player in the last five years, you can see that.'

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill faces a difficult job piecing together a side to stop Ronaldo, and his illustrious team-mates, having lost six players from his original squad.

Alex Bruce and Grant McCann were the latest to withdraw due to injury, leaving O'Neill light on the right side of defence and left midfield.

Alan Pardew has a plan for Manchester United

Pardew has a plan to counter United's dream strike force… score more than them!

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 6 October 2012

Alan Pardew has a plan for Sunday's visit of Manchester United that has nothing to do with any special attempt to curb the menace of the opposition's dream striking duo.

Sir Alex Ferguson is poised to start with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney for the first time in a Premier League match, with the Newcastle manager confessing his unequivocal admiration for England star Rooney.

'He's a fantastic player, one of my favourites,' he said. 'I love him in terms that he is passionate about the game and the way he plays it with a toughness.

What about us Demba Ba (right) and Papiss Cisse (left) will be hoping to outscore Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie on Sunday

What about us Demba Ba (right) and Papiss Cisse (left) will be hoping to outscore Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie on Sunday

'He's England's best player and I think he changes the game for Manchester United. He changes them from a top four team, to a top two team. That is how powerful he is.'

Rooney returns to Tyneside with an impressive record of 10 goals and five assists in 18 games against Newcastle. 'It doesn't surprise me and he's probably got that record against most teams!' added Pardew.

'We don't have any particular plans to stop him because I don't think you can do that against Manchester United. If you have a plan for Rooney, then what are you going to do about Van Persie You need a plan for the whole team.

'He could play Rooney in behind the front two, or in his normal role behind Van Persie. Alex has lovely options in that area.

'We have been unlucky in terms that this will be the first time they have started together in the Premier League but that's Manchester United for you. They have world class players.

'We think we know what they are going to do and hopefully we can cope with it.

'We want to win this game, as do they, because of what happened against Tottenham.

'What you do need against United is a positive attitude and you need audacity to take the game to them. If you sit back then they will find a way. They have been doing that for 20 years, finding a way through defences.

'So to beat them you need a game plan to score goals.'

Welcome to Tynside: Rooney (right) and Van Persie (left) are likely to start the game

Welcome to Tynside: Rooney (right) and Van Persie (left) are likely to start the game

Man with a plan: Alan Pardew is thinking positivel ahead of Sunday's match

Man with a plan: Alan Pardew is thinking positivel ahead of Sunday's match

Newcastle will be looking for their second league success over United in nine months, having trounced them 3-0 in the corresponding fixture last January.

And they could hardly be approaching the game in better shape after their 3-0 Europa League win over Bordeaux on Thursday night. Pardew believes his opposite number will be anxious about the trip to the north-east.

'I don't think he (Ferguson) is relishing coming to our place,' he said. 'We are going to make it as difficult as possible for them.'

'Our three subs are going to have to make a massive impact. We are definitely in a great position because my bench is very confident at the moment, no matter who is there.

'All my flair players are in good form. Hatem Ben Arfa is playing better than last season. We have massive assets in terms of scoring goals and I don't think we've shown that yet in the Premier League.'

Looking forward to it Pardew believes Sir Alex Ferguson (right) won't be relishing the trip further north

Looking forward to it Pardew believes Sir Alex Ferguson (right) won't be relishing the trip further north

Alisher Usmanov says Arsenal must stop selling

Arsenal must stop selling if they are to win trophies, says shareholder Usmanov

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UPDATED:

12:59 GMT, 28 September 2012

Arsenal major shareholder Alisher Usmanov has warned that the club's trophy drought will continue if they keep selling their star players.

The Gunners have not won any silverware since 2005 and lost captain Robin van Persie and key midfielder Alex Song to Manchester United and Barcelona respectively last month.

'Nobody can convince fans that the club is doing fine if for the past three or four years the club has been selling its best players,' Uzbek-born Usmanov said. 'It doesn't matter who our extremely talented coach, Arsene Wenger, buys to plug these holes if we want to win trophies.'

Gone: Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United this summer

Gone: Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United this summer

Usmanov, whose Red and White Holdings vehicle holds just under 30 percent of the club, has criticised Arsenal's board for selling leading players. But he has backed Wenger, who has been at the club since 1996.

'I'm an absolute fan of Arsene Wenger,' Usmanov said. 'I support him and I'm confident in him. We think he's a hero.

'Despite changes in the playing lineup, he keeps the variations of the same beautiful game.'

Usmanov also has a box at Chelsea – who Arsenal meet on Sunday – and he revealed that he and Blues owner Roman Abramovich talk about 'football and beauty' on match days.

Usmanov says that he cares about fans' views, and enjoys having an incognito drink in a Holloway pub near Arsenal's new stadium where 'no one recognises me'.

Fan: Usmanov spoke of his admiration for Wenger (above)

Fan: Usmanov spoke of his admiration for Wenger (above)

Fan: Usmanov spoke of his admiration for Wenger (above)

He and partner Farhad Moshiri, who have built their position in Arsenal since 2007, are at odds with US billionaire Stan Kroenke, who owns just over two-thirds of the club.

Usmanov recently criticised Arsenal's board in an open letter for failing to hold on to van Persie. He called for Arsenal's finances to be strengthened through an injection of non-dividend-paying equity into the club.

'Arsenal received our letter,' said Usmanov. 'We didn't mean it as a hostile message or a declaration of war.'

However, Usmanov does not want to be on the board himself.

'We are tired of being accused of fighting for a place on the board,' he said. 'We have never in our lives asked for this place.'

Usmanov does not plan to write another letter at this point as it would be a distraction while the club tries to win games.

Powerbroker: Usmanov speaks at his home in Moscow

Powerbroker: Usmanov speaks at his home in Moscow

'The season is beginning – we must close this discussion and support the club, coach and players,' he said.

Arsenal's third-place finish in the league last season was enough to guarantee them a place in the Champions League for the 15th successive season.

'I never say we need to spend enormous money for any players but we must have capacity,' said Usmanov, when asked whether UEFA's planned Financial Fair Play measures mean that teams must cut losses or face exclusion from European competition.

Usmanov said he loves the club and holds his investment as 'a fan… who has participation as a shareholder.' He has no plans to sell, declaring 'if you sell what you love you lose yourself'.

'For now, we stay in Arsenal as shareholders as long as we don't lose our love for this club. Now we wish it support and great victory.'