• Billionaire Aliko Dangote says the first change he would make in north London would be to install a new manager.
  • Nigerian businessman plans to try to buy Arsenal after delivering an $11bn oil refinery outside Lagos.
  • Dangote believes he will have the resources necessary to tempt both Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov into selling their shares.

Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote, 60, claims he would immediately sack manager Arsene Wenger in the event that he succeeds in his long-term plan to acquire Premier League giants Arsenal.

Wenger, who succeeded Bruce Rioch as Gunners boss back in October 1996, became the longest-serving manager in European football last year and has now entered his 22nd season in charge after finally agreeing a new two-year contact extension.

Lingering uncertainty over the divisive Frenchman's future unquestionably cast a damaging shadow over Arsenal's 2016-17 campaign and many fans embarked upon a campaign to remove him from his post as the club missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 21 years.

Nigerian billionaire businessman Dangote has frequently spoken about his desire to buy Arsenal in the past and previously stated that Wenger needed to "change his style a bit" and implement a new direction.

However, it now appears that he would swiftly act to replace the 67-year-old entirely.

"The first thing I would change is the coach," he told Bloomberg when asked how he would alter things at the Emirates Stadium. "He has done a good job, but someone else should also try his luck."

Reaffirming his long-standing interest in Arsenal, Dangote, CEO of multinational industrial conglomerate the Dangote Group, insisted that he will make a play to buy the club after the completion of an $11bn (£8.5bn, €9.4bn) oil refinery currently being constructed outside Lagos.

"Yes, but I don't want to go after Arsenal until I deliver the refinery," he said. "Once I deliver, I will go after Arsenal."

Asked if there were any other football clubs he would consider buying, Dangote, who Forbes claim boasts a current net worth of $13bn, said: "I don't change clubs. Even when Arsenal isn't doing well I still stick by them. It's a great team, well-run. It could be run better, so I will be there. I will wait. Even if things change I will take it and make the difference going forward."

American Stan Kroenke has been the majority shareholder at Arsenal since taking a controlling stake back in 2011, and in 2016 he increased his overall shareholding to 67%. Uzbek-born Russian iron and steel magnate Alisher Usmanov also owns 30%, and earlier this year failed with a £1.3bn attempt to buy out the man with whom he has publicly disagreed with on issues concerning the way the club is being run.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), who along with Wenger, have come under fire from supporters for a supposed lack of ambition, were quick to stress in the aftermath of that offer that their shares were not and had never been for sale and that they remained "a committed, long-term investor" in Arsenal.

However, Dangote clearly believes he will have the resources necessary to tempt both Kroenke and Usmanov into selling their shares once that aforementioned refinery is completed.

"Well, you know anything is possible in this world. If they get the right offer, I'm sure they would walk away. We'll be in a position to give them the right offer. They will not hold ­Arsenal forever. Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away. And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that."

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote previously put a three to four year timeline on his ambition to buy Arsenal