United target 'billion dollar' world-record new shirt deal
MANCHESTER UNITED expect to secure a world-record shirt deal worth in excess of £65m a year within six months, after handing Adidas, Warrior and Puma the opportunity to replace Nike as their kit supplier.
United's £23.5m-a-year deal with Nike started in 2002-03 and expires at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.
No agreement has been reached on a new contract, despite the American sportswear giants enjoying a six-month period of exclusivity on negotiations between February and August 2013.
With sources close to United's American owners, the Glazer family, insisting that the club are capable of landing "a billion-dollar deal" – £600m – to replace the Nike contract, talks are taking place with their competitors Adidas, Warrior and Puma to gauge interest in striking the biggest kit deal in football history.
With United recognised as the most powerful brand on the world football stage, their success in securing a £53m-a-year shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, due to start this summer, has strengthened their prospects of dwarfing the kit deals of leading rivals such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Real's £31m-a-year deal with Adidas is the biggest club partnership, but Nike's £40m-a-year, seven-year agreement with the French Football Federation is regarded by United as the benchmark for current negotiations.
Nike, which last month struck an eight-year deal with Paris St-Germain and a nine-year agreement with the US national team, is understood to be determined to retain the United contract. (© Daily Telegraph, London)