Ivan Gazidis future: Arsenal expect decision soon after hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer headhunts Gunners CEO for AC Milan role
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Arsenal are expecting unsettled CEO Ivan Gazidis to end the speculation about his future as talks with suitors AC Milan are set to reach a conclusion shortly.
Kingmaker Gazidis, who installed head coach Unai Emery at the club, has been agonising over the Serie A giants offer to quit the Emirates.
The San Siro outfit are prepared to hand Gazidis an extra £1 million a year on his £2.6m salary.
Gazidis – the man who won acclaim from many Arsenal fans for ending Arsene Wenger’s 22-year tenure in N5 – has yet to make an announcement about his intentions.
Gazidis remained tight-lipped about his Gunners future when interviewed by the Islington Gazette earlier this month but it is understood a decision is immiment – as the uncertainty around the Johannesburg-born former law graduate, who turned 54 the day before Arsenal beat Newcastle United 2-1 on Saturday, is set to reach resoluton.
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The Rossoneri have been taken over by US hedge fund Elliot Management after former owner Li Yonghong defaulted on a debt owed to the American business.
The company, which was founded in 1977 by Paul Singer, a Harvard graduate worth nearly $3 billion, has approximately $35bn in assets under its management.
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Singer who has been described as a ‘vulture’ capitalist as well as one of the smartest and toughest money managers in the cut-throat world of the hedge fund industry has prompted Milan to actively court Gazidis.
A City hedge fund source told the Islington Gazette that Gazidis – who is an associate of the powerful Singer – has been specifically headhunted by Elliot Management on behalf of the 74-year-old billionaire, who has admired his work at Arsenal.
The delay in Gazidis’ decision is said to have been due to the Arsenal bigwig seeking assurances from Singer and his company that they are willing to back the Italian club with hard cash in order for the Rossoneri to compete against Juventus and city rivals Inter.
Gazidis is hugely influential at Arsenal and in the corridors of power in the Premier League, with an unrivalled contacts book, and his stock has never been higher in North London.
However, with Gunners owner Stan Kroenke effecting a buy out at the North London club last month, it is believed that his son, Josh, is being groomed to assume the role of CEO at Arsenal.
Follow Arsenal reporter, former City specialist and MBA, Layth, on Twitter @laythy29