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By ESPN Staff

New Saudi deal for United

Manchester United have signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Middle East telecommunications giant Saudi Telecom.

The multi-million pound agreement gives Saudi Telecom exclusive rights to mobile phone content within Saudi Arabia, including video highlights of goals and match footage.

It builds on a close relationship with Saudi Arabia which was enhanced in January when Sir Alex Ferguson took his first-team squad to the Kingdom.

'Our match earlier this year in Riyadh demonstrated the passion our Saudi fans have for Manchester United,' said Red Devils chief executive David Gill.

'We believe this groundbreaking partnership will bring the action of Manchester United direct to our many fans in Saudi Arabia.'

In gaining access to Saudi Telecom's estimated 15 million subscribers, United hope to build on their own already large fan base in the region.

The ability to sign such a contract, which does not have anything to do with shirt sponsorship, emphasises what a global appeal United have.

It is thought the Red Devils will be heading to Asia again next summer but after recent trips to Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, India appears to be the next territory where United are keen to make inroads.

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