United set to sign record deal with American giants AIG

The other party in the Manchester United sponsorship tryst that has so far prompted allegations of "double-dealing" and the withdrawal from a world- record £70m deal is expected to be revealed as the insurance and financial services giant American International Group.

AIG have emerged as the leading contenders to replace Vodafone as United's main commercial partners over the next four years, an agreement that will net the Old Trafford club the most lucrative sponsorship deal in world football and thus explain their decision to abandon negotiations with the online gambling firm Mansion last weekend.

Mansion accused United of using them as a stalking horse to attract alternative sponsors despite their willingness to pay more than the £15m a year Juventus receive from Libyan oil company Tamoil and Samsung's £10m-a-year contract with Chelsea, currently the largest deals in world and English football respectively.

United, however, had reservations about entering into a high-profile deal with the betting industry, a fact demonstrated by the Mansion chief executive David Kinsman's admission that at no time during talks with the club did he meet any of the three Glazer brothers who are now on the Old Trafford board.

By contrast, Bryan Glazer is believed to have been involved in negotiations with AIG and it will be regarded as a coup by the controversial owners if they secure a contract that reaffirms the club's standing in the game. The company has interests in 130 countries and would be keen to exploit the market offered by United's global fan base.

United have been negotiating with potential sponsors since November, when Vodafone announced it was ending its £9m-a-year deal two years early.

Whatever the colour of the new sponsors' money, the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, already has designs on how to spent it. The Scot was at the San Siro last night for the Champions' League quarter-final between Milan and Lyon, two clubs who possess the kind of imposing defensive midfielder that United have craved all season, in the pugnacious Gennaro Gattuso, of the Rossenieri, and the French club's Malian international Mahamadou Diarra.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine