Everton have once again denied rumours that Alisher Usmanov is preparing to invest a slice of his considerable wealth into the club.
Usmanov has been linked with the Toffees ever since his friend and long-time business associate Farhad Moshiri took over the club in February 2016.
The Uzbek-born Russian business magnate has already indirectly invested in the club, with his company USM sponsoring Finch Farm. However there have always been rumours of further involvement.
Those rumours increased when the 65-year-old sold his stake in Arsenal in August after growing frustrated at his inability to have a say in the running of the club.
Comments allegedly made by Usmanov on Russian TV earlier this week claimed he was ready to “help” the Toffees and even become a stakeholder.
In response to those reports Talksport and Sky Sports News presenter Jim White contacted an Everton source to try and find out what was happening.
Speaking on his Talksport radio show, White said Usmanov has been offered several clubs in Italy and believes there is “categorically no likelihood” of Usmanov investing in the Blues.
He also replayed a clip from Bill Kenwright replying to earlier rumours, saying:
“I don’t have to tell you the commitment [Farhad Moshiri] has given to Everton in time and in finance.
“He’s put hundreds of millions into the club. He wanted the extra shareholding with the new stadium coming up and I think it’ll help with further finance in the club.
“He knows the club, he loves the club and he wanted to cement his position.”
Like a weakened Everton side going out of the EFL Cup, we have become used to these sorts of stories now. Reports of imminent Usmanov investment stem from abroad before being swiftly denied at home a few hours later.
The USM deal is proof of Moshiri and Usmanov’s close working relationship and I’m pretty sure Usmanov would be willing to help out in some way, particularly in the new stadium construction. But whether he is willing to directly invest in the club remains to be seen.