Arsenal fact-finding mission for Stan Kroenke's son, Josh - sources
Josh Kroenke, the son of Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, is spending three months in London to immerse himself in how the club is run, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.
Josh Kroenke has been living in London for the last three weeks and is "getting closer to the club and immersing himself in all things Arsenal," a club source said. That includes getting a better understanding of the history, role in the community and commercial enterprises, but his position has not changed.
Both Kroenkes are members of the Arsenal board but have been criticised by fans in the past for not spending enough time around the club, though Josh's presence in London shouldn't be seen as a drastic change in the family's traditional hands-off ownership approach.
Josh Kroenke is widely seen as the heir apparent to his father's sports conglomerate, which also includes the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. The 37-year-old serves as president of both the Nuggets and Avalanche, but is a non-executive member of the Arsenal board.
His temporary move to London was first reported by the Mail on Sunday and comes at a time when Arsenal are undergoing major changes behind the scenes, having recently shaken up the backroom staff by hiring Barcelona's former director of football Raul Sanllehi and Borussia Dortmund's chief scout Sven Mislintat to head up the club's transfer negotiations and recruitment department, respectively.
The Gunners are also negotiating major new commercial contracts and announced on Monday that they have extended their shirt sponsorship with Emirates Airlines until 2024, calling it the largest deal in club's history. Their five-year kit deal with Puma is also set to expire in 2019, while the club could also sign a first ever sleeve sponsor for next season.
There is also continued speculation about Arsene Wenger's future after a disappointing league campaign, but the club source insisted there is "nothing sinister" about Kroenke's extended visit.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.