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Boardroom battle takes a twist...

Arsene Wenger has reportedly threatened to quit his position at Arsenal, if Alisher Usmanov wins the battle to control the club.

According to the News of the World, the Frenchman has made it clear to the board that he does not intend to remain in charge if such a takeover happens, and has hinted at a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid instead.

Another board member, Stan Kroenke, has steadily been increasing his stake in the club in recent weeks. His share currently stands just shy of the 29.99% mark at 29.90% - should he reach the former figure, he will be obligated to bid for the remaining shares in the club.

The report claims that Kroenke's motive behind boosting his stake is to edge Usmanov out, thereby protecting Wenger's postition at the Emirates Stadium.

After last season's exit from the Champions League, Usmanov had claimed that the Gunners need to reinvest heavily in the squad to match the European elite stride-for-stride, consequently promising a £100 million injection if his Red and White group takeover the club.

However, the former Monaco boss is said to be unwilling to compromise on his principles of garnering the youth and moulding them into the stars of the future, as opposed to ushering in a 'Galactico' era in north London.

An insider allegdly told the tabloid: "He [Wenger] doesn't want any owner interfering with the way he is developing the team.

"He has long been resistant to bringing big money signings in.

"He has a plan and everyone is seeing it come to fruition. That's not to say along the way he won't bring in some players but he will only do so on his terms. Arsene has made the board very aware of that and that he couldn't work with an owner who insists on spending big money on new players.

"As it stands Arsene is happy working with Kroenke on the board because he has shown no interest in interfering. The same can't be said for Usmanov."

At the moment, Usmanov owns 23 per cent of the club, and is said to be battling it out with Kroenke to buy out Lady Bracewell Smith, a 15.9 per cent shareholder, who has reportedly fallen out with the club.

Goal.com UK

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