According to the Guardian, Manchester city are aiming to strike a record sponsorship deal with Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, after opening talks about an agreement that would recognise their position as the most richly endowed club in the world.
This new agreement could be the biggest of its kind in English football, beating Manchester United's £56.5m four-year deal with AIG.
Etihad, which currently sponsors the Harlequin rugby union team, is run by the Abu Dhabi government and, like Manchester City, is backed by the royal family.
Although talks are described as "very early" and several other companies are also in the frame, Etihad's links to the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) have established the airline as the front-runners to replace Thomas Cook as shirt sponsors.
Manchester City’s current £2.3m-a-year sponsorship deal with travel firm Thomas Cook runs out at the end of the year.