According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United are on the verge of signing a £60m-a-year kit deal with adidas. The club's current ten-year deal with Nike expires in June 2015, and the Mail cite "senior insiders" in Germany who are confident that a deal is nearly done.
The proposed figure amounts to a doubling of the current deal, which might explain why Nike, who have been negotiating with the club for the last three years, have allowed the contract to wind down to the extent that United can talk to other companies. Clearly, adidas have more faith in the restorative powers of Louis van Gaal.
United wore adidas between 1980 and 1991, a period that included arguably the finest away kit in history, 1990-91's magnificent pale blue overlapping maple leaves. Ever since they replaced Umbro, Nike's kits have generally been unlovely at best and downright peculiar at worst, and from an aesthetic point of view TBB certainly won't miss them. And if the club have managed to avoid the Warrior horrorshow, then so much the better.
One of the more interesting names linked to the club in the last few months has been Uniqlo, a Japanese fashion label who have recently begun moving into sport sponsorship. The Mail state that any deal with adidas would leave United free to sign a separate deal to create a fashion brand. Look out for red devil branded polo shirts and Anderson-endorsed skinny jeans, coming to a high street near you.