Chelsea are close to agreeing a huge shirt sponsorship deal worth £40million-a-year with Yokohama Rubber, reports The Telegraph.
The deal will be the second-largest on English football history, falling short of Manchester United's £53million-a-year deal with Chevrolet but eclipsing the £30million-a-year deal Arsenal enjoy with Emirates.
It will more than double their current income from shirt sponsorship. Their deal with Samsung has seen them earn £18million-a-year since it was last extended in 2012. It is reported in the same story that Christian Purslow, hired to be Chelsea's global activities manager in October last year, is behind the deal with the tire company.
It was reported last year that Turkish Airlines had already agreed a deal with Chelsea to become their new shirt sponsor. An official Twitter account of the company tweeted that they had completed the deal, but that was quickly deleted.
Talks broke down as it became clear Chelsea were looking for much more than Turkish Airlines were willing to pay. It was only then Yokohama became the frontrunner.
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The huge business has major agreements with two major NBA teams, the Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs, but this will be their first foray into European football. Their business network spans over 100 countries across America, Australasia and Asia.
Chelsea fans may not have to wait too long for confirmation on this matter with the club's official Twitter account hinting at a major announcement tonight.
They tweeted: "Watch out for major news on chelseafc.com this evening."
A big deal for Chelsea
Depending on the deal's length, which is unstated in the report, this could end up being a massive deal for Chelsea. The implications of financial fair play have seen Jose Mourinho having to manage his squad with a number of player sales.
While he has done well to get the best value for the likes of Juan Mata and David Luiz, it was not an ideal situation for the Chelsea manager. With this new deal in place and up to £22million coming in per season, he should have more freedom to complete transfers without having to sell squad members.
If the deal is five-years, it will also give them the power to negotiate a bigger deal, especially if they manage to win some major silverware between now and 2020. However, if it is longer, like Manchester United's seven-year deal with Chevrolet, it gives them less flexibility should their marketing value increase.
What do you think of this deal? Are Yokohama over paying or have Chelsea sold themselves short? Give us your views in the comment box below!
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