The Middle Eastern group linked with an Arsenal takeover also considered Everton and West Ham United.

The Daily Mail says the group aiming to buy them met in London two weeks ago for talks over their proposed £1.5billion bid.

Initially the investors flew to England on a fishing expedition as they looked at the potential purchase of several clubs. Everton, who have been on the lookout for investment under owner Bill Kenwright, were one of the teams discussed during their visit. West Ham were another option, but they were quickly dismissed in favour of a move to buy Arsenal lock, stock and barrel.