Google to sponsor Manchester United?

Big Blue also in the race to land lucrative Red Devils shirt deal…

Big Blue also in the race to land lucrative Red Devils shirt deal…

Manchester United football club is in "advanced" talks with a number of global high-tech giants about replacing Vodafone as its shirt sponsor, according to reports.

Vodafone announced last week that it is ending its four-year £9m a year shirt sponsorship deal two years early at the end of this current Premiership season.

But the club's new owners, the US-based Glazer family, who won their controversial £800m takeover bid earlier this year, are now believed to be in advanced talks with some of the biggest global brands - many of them from the high-tech industry - about replacing Vodafone.

Some of the names reportedly willing to top Vodafone's deal include Google, IBM and Yahoo!, according to The Observer newspaper at the weekend.

The paper, citing City sources, said the Vodafone brand is not well known in the US and the termination of the deal gives the Glazer family the opportunity to bag a bigger global brand that will help give Manchester United a higher profile in the US.

Some of the other non-tech brands believed to be in talks with the football club include Coca-Cola and Levi Strauss.