Boardroom battle bores Wenger

Arsene Wenger insists he is unconcerned by the possibility of a takeover by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov at Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger insists he is unconcerned by the possibility of a takeover by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov at Arsenal.

Former Gunners vice-chairman David Dein sold his 14.58% stake in the club for £75million to a company called Red and White, which is jointly owned by Usmanov.

While new Red and White chairman Dein insists there are currently no plans to take over the club, he has indicated the company does want to increase its shareholding.

Wenger has dismissed fears any upheaval would cloud his future at the Emirates with the Frenchman expected to finalise a new contract next week.

“I’m an employee of Arsenal who tries to pay back the club for the faith they have in me by bringing good results and success,” he said.

“What is happening (in the boardroom) is nothing to do with me.

“What I’m thinking when I’m negotiating the contract is whether I have the freedom to work like I want to work.

“I always had that with David Dein and, since David has gone, I still have that.

“That is, for me, the most important thing. There will be news on the contract next week.”

Wenger has told Usmanov he does not need fresh investment to make Arsenal successful.

Chelsea and Manchester United have spent heavily but Wenger is convinced his policy of developing young talent rather than making big-money signings will yield silverware.

“If I want to buy a player today then I have money available,” he said.

“Maybe I’ll need money in four, five or six years but that will depend on how much money the other clubs have and what the average salary is.

“I believe I can compete and be successful because I have a team that can win the Premiership and do well in the Champions League. That’s why I’m here.

“There are many ways to work in the game. We buy good players when they come onto the market, but generally we have gone for a different solution and we will continue to do that.

“I’m not saying other clubs have got it wrong. Instead we’re doing it our way and are happy with that. It’s my decision to take this route.”

Arsenal have been drawn alongside Sevilla or AEK Athens, Steaua Bucharest and Slavia Prague in Group H of the Champions League with Wenger claiming the opening game will be crucial.

“We have two eastern European countries in Bucharest, who are traditionally a good technical side, and Slavia Prague, who caused the shock of the qualifiers,” he said.

“They knocked Ajax out in a convincing way because they won two games. I don’t think we have to speak about Sevilla because they are one of the four or five best teams in Europe.

“We start at home to Sevilla, which will be very important to us. To beat Sevilla at home will give us a very good chance to qualify.”

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