By Neil Halligan
Abu Dhabi airline says ‘no truth to the rumours’
Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has denied speculation it is about to sign a shirt sponsorship deal with Italian Serie A side Inter Milan.
Sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Etihad, which has a 49 percent equity stake in Italian national carrier Alitalia, was in talks with the club about a five-year sponsorship deal worth a reported $142 million.
Etihad, however, has denied the story, claiming no talks have taken place.
“Etihad Airways denies the reports and speculation that the airline is to become a sponsor of Inter Milan football club in Italy. The airline is not in talks with the club and there is no truth to these rumours,” a spokesperson for the airline said.
Speculation about the deal comes as the Italian club’s current deal with tyre giants Pirelli is about to expire at the end of the season. Currently in the process of a takeover by ChemChina, Pirelli is believed to be interested in extending its 20-year association with the club, but has yet to agree a new deal.