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Arsenal must end season on a high

By ESPN Staff

'Galacticos exits won't affect Real sponsorship'

MADRID, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has said the club are close to signing a shirt deal with a new sponsor that will be unaffected by the loss of high-profile players such as David Beckham.

Current sponsors BenQ Mobile, a Taiwanese company, have filed for bankruptcy. They signed a five-year deal with Real in Nov 2005 reported to be worth around 100 million euros over five years.

'We are going to have to change our shirt sponsor. In a week we will sign a new deal for an unequalled amount of money, though not bigger than the current deal,' Calderon said in a speech reported on the Real Web site on Tuesday.

'This will take place even though Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane have gone, Beckham is leaving and Ronaldo does not figure in the coach's plans.'

Under former president Florentino Perez, Real moved to the top spot in the rich list of the world's biggest clubs by exploiting the marketing potential of the so called 'galacticos''.

Part of Beckham's deal when he joined in 2003 was to grant the club a half share of his image rights which was a major boost to the club's finances. Real's income has increased some 35 percent since his arrival.

But Calderon sought to play down the impact of the midfielder's decision to leave for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season.

'The quantities that he is said to have brought to Real are nowhere near the figures that are put about,' Calderon added.