MANCHESTER CITY are on the verge of dumping kit suppliers Nike to agree a new £50million-a-year deal with Puma.
City’s growing status as one of the giants of European football is likely to be recognised in the huge new sponsorship agreement that dwarfs their current arrangement.
At present, the Premier League leaders get £20m-a-year from Nike under the terms of their £120m packaged agreed back in 2012.
When that contract was signed, City were still looking to establish themselves among the big boys of European football.
But since then they have become one of the most recognised forces, with a squad littered with genuine world class talent and Pep Guardiola as manager.
Their global fan base has grown dramatically, to such an extent that they can now demand huge sums in the auction for the rights to be their next kit suppliers.
The Nike deal runs out in 2018 – and the Mail claim it is Puma who are set to emerge as the winners in the battle to be their manufacturers in one of the biggest kit-deals in history.
Barcelona’s ten year deal with Nike is worth £100m-a-year, while Manchester United get £75m-a-year from Adidas.
But if City close on the new agreement with Puma that would be similar to the 15-year arrangement Chelsea started with Nike at the beginning of the season.
It would even be worth more than the £42.5m-a-year Adidas pay to German giants Bayern Munich – a huge indication of how far City have come over the past few years.
And it would be £20m-a-year more than Arsenal and Tottenham are being paid by Puma in their own deals with the manufacturers.
As well as investing heavily on player purchases, City have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to grow their brand and commercial value.
Last year they reported record revenues of £473.4m, and they expect that figure to grow markedly over the coming few years.
They were the first Premier League team to agree a sleeve-sponsorship deal, while they have also just announced a £10m behind the scenes documentary with Amazon.
And the hope is the exciting brand of football employed by Guardiola will also continue to help atrract a growing number of fans worldwide.