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Usmanov can turn up pressure on Arsenal over Nasri, Adebayor departures

Alisher Usmanov could get his hands on Arsenal's books as he attempts to increase his stake in the club. The London Evening Standard says Usmanov owns 29.35 per cent of the club but has sent a letter to select shareholders offering to buy their shares at £14,000 each - significantly more than Kroenke's last offer. The approach is being made through his investment company Red and White Holdings with a source saying they are "working their way through the register".

If Usmanov buys the 405 shares needed to increase his stake to more than 30 per cent he would be subject to the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test, their updated Fit and Proper Persons' Test.

Assuming he passes, then Usmanov will increase his demands to have a seat on the board - something that Kroenke, who owns 66.7 per cent of the club, has always refused.

But crucially, the American could not stop Usmanov from inspecting the club's accounts and the contracts of the squad and staff. The Uzbeki could use that to put pressure on the board by drawing attention to a number of issues - principal among them being the club's wage structure. Arsenal have struggled to keep their top earners with Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure all leaving to Manchester City in the last two years.

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Tribal Football Staff

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