Arsenal have had no contact over a potential takeover, sources said yesterday amid reports of a looming record bid by a Gulf consortium.

Reports in British newspapers suggested that an investment group backed by funds from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates was preparing a £1.5 billion ($2.75 billion) bid for the Premier League club.

However, sources close to the Gunners' board said there had been no approach - informal or otherwise - to the American owner Stan Kroenke, who had no intention of selling his controlling stake and remained "in it for the long term".

Kroenke pushed through his more than £430 million takeover in April 2011, and holds almost 67 per cent of the club, giving him overall control.


Uzbek oil magnate Alisher Usmanov remains Arsenal's second-largest shareholder with a 30 per cent stake.

If confirmed, the bid would dwarf the £700 million the Glazer family paid for Premier League leaders Manchester United.

It also underlines the Gulf interest in Premier League football, with champions Manchester City being owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahayan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family.