We brought this rumour back in April 2009, but today, a source close to the deal told Reuters that AC Milan is about to announce that the new Dubai government-owned Emirates airline is to sponsor the Italian football club AC Milan in a shirt sponsorship deal worth €50 million ($69m) over four-years.
The Arab world's largest airline, which also sponsors Arsenal's stadium among other European football endorsements, will replace Austrian online betting group Bwin as Milan's shirt sponsor from July 2010 until June 2014.
The deal, to be announced in Milan "in the next few days" in the presence of the airline's chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, does not include the sale of a stake in the club as some media outlets had previously reported.
"It's a friendship, it can become love or remain a friendship," said the source who declined to be identified. "What is certain is there is enthusiasm in Dubai for this deal."