Transfer news

Usmanov backs Rooney to Arsenal

June 20, 2013
By ESPN staff

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has told CNBC that he believes Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney would be a "great success" at Emirates Stadium.

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Usmanov, 59, holds a 29.9% share in the Premier League side after buying up former vice-chairman David Dein's stake five years ago.

The Russian oligarch has previously spoken about the need for more investment in Arsenal's squad, and it has recently been reported that the club could bring in up to £70 million worth of talent this summer.

Rooney is among the players to be linked with the Gunners, amid reports that a £25 million transfer could be in the offing after the England international handed in a transfer request at Old Trafford at the end of last season.

And Usmanov has offered is backing to the mooted deal, telling CNBC: "He is a great player, there would be great success for Rooney [if he joined Arsenal], and for Arsenal too."

Usmanov also voiced his support for the direction the club is headed, after they secured Champions League qualification with a strong end to the season under manager Arsene Wenger's stewardship.

"We as shareholders point to some drawbacks in the management of the club, but Wenger is a great coach and the club is progressing in the commercial sense," Usmanov said. "We should trust him.

"It is high time for the club to win the highest trophies in the European Champions League, but I believe in the club's future."

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