Nike to cut ties with United

Nike to cut ties with United

Manchester United will have a new kit supplier next year after American sportswear giant Nike opted not to extend its lengthy association with the club.

Nike’s current agreement with United ends in 2015 and a statement released yesterday confirmed it would not be seeking to renew.

Nike has been providing United’s kit since 2002 but it is understood the company was unwilling to match a bid from a rival manufacturer to continue.

Reports have suggested German firm adidas is now in pole position to take over with a deal that could net the club £60m (€75m) per year.

News of Nike’s withdrawal came just a day after United unveiled their new strip for the 2014-15 season, which is the first to bear the logo of new sponsors Chevrolet.

The Nike statement read: “Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial and the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders.

“We look forward to a successful final season with the club.”

United will start wearing their final Nike kit on their upcoming pre-season tour of the United States.

Details of their touring party for that trip have now been confirmed with new manager Louis van Gaal and the club’s England players all travelling on July 18.

That means Van Gaal will effectively begin work with United as soon as his World Cup commitments with Holland end.

Van Gaal has guided Holland to the last four in Brazil and they hope to be involved in Sunday’s final in Rio, just five days before the tour starts.

Even if they are beaten in their semi-final by Argentina, they will be playing in the third-place place play-off on Saturday.

News that star striker Wayne Rooney and the other United members of the England World Cup party – Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and new signing Luke Shaw – will be involved is a boost to Van Gaal’s preparations.

Those players will have had less than four weeks off since England’s involvement in Brazil ended on June 24.

Other players not to have featured beyond the group stages – Juan Mata, David de Gea, Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia and Nani – will also be in the group, as well another new face in Ander Herrera.

United take on the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 23 before games in the in the International Champions Cup against Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

There would be a further game, in Miami on August 4, if they reach the final of a tournament that also features rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes expects Van Gaal to make a big impact at Old Trafford.

Scholes wrote in his Paddy Power Blog: “Van Gaal seems to have the Midas touch, and with his coaching reputation and vast experience he can bring a lot to the club.

“He’ll improve last year’s performance by 20-25%, I feel.”

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