Alisher Usmanov has made a £1bn bid to buy out the majority shareholder at Arsenal, according to Sky sources.

It is understood Stan Kroenke has yet to formally respond to the offer, which was initially reported by the Financial Times, but it is expected he will reject it.

Usmanov currently owns a stake of just over 30% in the club and has a personal fortune of around £11.2bn.

Kroenke, who also owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, has been Arsenal’s majority shareholder since 2011.

The American increased his shareholding – through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprise – to 67.05 per cent of the club with a purchase of 23 ordinary shares in May 2016.

Usmanov recently stated his belief that Arsene Wenger should begin the process of identifying the club’s next manager, describing the long-serving manager as Arsenal’s main symbol and main asset.

Some continuity is needed, Usmanov said in comments reported by Bloomberg last month.

This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way.

I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor.

(c) Sky News 2017: Alisher Usmanov makes bid for full control of Arsenal