Sportswear company Nike says it is still in discussions with Manchester United over renewing their kit deal despite reports it has walked away from negotiations.
- Brewin: Comparing Van Gaal with Moyes
Sources close to the talks say Nike is unwilling to match the amount of money United are asking -- in excess of $1 billion over a 10-year period, according to Forbes -- and reports have suggested rival adidas is in pole position to clinch a deal which could see the club earn 60 million pounds a year from 2015.
It would replace the 13-year deal United signed with Nike in 2002 that was worth a minimum of 303 million pounds, with extra income from a profit-share agreement from merchandise sold worldwide.
A Nike spokeswoman said talks were ongoing, however, telling Press Association Sport in an email: "Manchester United are a great club and we remain in discussions with them.''
International news agency Reuters had reported that Nike was set to end its affiliation with the Old Trafford club, who this week launched the first kit under their new and lucrative shirt sponsorship deal with U.S. car manufacturer Chevrolet.
The agency quotes a source as saying: "Clearly Nike's football business is booming and they could easily afford to do this [deal]. They had the right to match any other offer but looking at the deal on the table, they will walk away as it doesn't make commercial sense."
Neither Manchester United nor adidas have commented on the latest report.
United's worldwide fanbase and consistent success on the pitch cultivated in the Premier League era has seen them routinely break records when negotiating new sponsorship, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League last season could affect the value of any such deals in the near future.