Formula 1 surpremo Bernie Ecclestone and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore have both expressed an interest in taking over London football clubs, according to reports surfacing ahead of the start of the new football league season.

Ecclestone is once again reported to be expressing an interest in taking over at Premiership outfit Arsenal, a club he tried to distance himself from only last month at the European Grand Prix when the Daily Mirror reported that he had held discussions with the former English champions.

However, having said at the time that he would 'buy anything if it's cheap enough' the speculation has refused to go away, despite the continued interest in the club from American billionaire Stan Kroenke who has been linked to a takeover after taking a 12 per cent share in the club.

According to The Times, Ecclestone is 'counting down the days' until he can launch a possible takeover, with a lock out agreement signed by five Arsenal directors meaning they will resist any attempts to gain control of the club until April.

Despite that, Ecclestone has admitted he would certainly be interested if the club became available.

"It was David [Dein, former Arsenal director] who mentioned it," Ecclestone told the 'paper. "The directors at Arsenal don't want to sell and have signed a lockout agreement for a year, so we will have to wait and see what happens then.

"A lot can change in that time. I am still very interested. If I could buy Arsenal I would, but I would want control."

Briatore meanwhile is reported to be setting his sights slightly lower than Ecclestone with an approach to Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

According to reports in the Italian press, the 57-year-old has 'had discussions' with club owner Gianni Paladini although 'nothing has been signed'.

Paladini has been seeking investment in the club for some time, with the chairman admitting last month that he and his fellow investors didn't have the money to take the club any further - with funds needed to help fight off ongoing losses and help pay off a loan of ?10 million taken out by the previous board to fight off administration, amongst other debts.

 

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