Bernie Ecclestone has played down speculation that he is in talks to buy Arsenal football club, claiming that it could be embarrassing having been a regular visitor to London rivals Chelsea over the years.

Although he admitted that he 'would buy anything if it's cheap enough', Ecclestone denied having had negotiations with the north London club, as had been reported by Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper.

"I don't know too much about that," he told Reuters at the European Grand Prix, "It's good if somebody is saying that, because maybe I will be approached and maybe it will be cheap - I'll buy anything if it's cheap enough. If somebody offers me something that I think is good value, I'll have a go."

Reportedly close to buying Chelsea before Russian Roman Abramovich brought his oil millions to the club's Premiership challenge, Ecclestone admits to having a social relationship with former Arsenal chairman David Dein, whose son is dating his daughter Tamara, but refused to confirm that anything had been mentioned about buying the club.

"Look at what a problem I'd be in with Chelsea if I bought Arsenal," he smiled.

Media speculation has touted Ecclestone as a rival to American millionaire Stan Kroenke, who has launched a bid to become the latest US-based owner of a Premiership club after both Liverpool and Manchester United changed hands across the Atlantic.



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