United in India shirt sponsor claim

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Champions approach Indian firm, reports say

PREMIERSHIP champions Manchester United have approached an Indian company with relation to its shirt sponsorship, reports have claimed.

It was announced the clubs current sponsor, American insurer AIG, would not be extending its current deal which ends in 2010.

AIG, who agreed to pay the club £14m a year for sponsorship rights, was handed a US government bail out last year after running into difficulties.

United have now approached Indian company Sahara Group with a sponsorship proposal.

“We can confirm that we have received a proposal for team sponsorship, it is an elaborate one,” The Telegraph reported Abhijit Sarkar, spokesman for the Sahara Group, as saying.

“We received the proposal a few days ago. At this stage I cannot give any more details.”

The Sahara Group currently sponsors India’s successful one-day cricket team.

Last year United chief executive David Gill revealed the club were keen to travel to India for a pre-season tour.

“India is interesting,” Gill was quoted as saying in The Times last July. “We have been approached to go there and are looking at some soccer school opportunities in the country.

“They do have ambitions and have a key goal to make it to the World Cup. Whether they can make it or not, I do not know, but it’s a huge country. Look at the IPL. That has shown it’s a very wealthy country and it is definitely worth looking at. Other clubs will look at it and so will we.”

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