LIVERPOOL and Everton both prepared for tonight’s Merseyside derby by announcing significant agreements – the former with a training kit sponsor and the latter with defender Leighton Baines.
Indonesian airline Garuda has struck a deal to sponsor the Reds’ training wear from next season for an undisclosed sum. Liverpool are only the second Premier League club to sell training kit and matchday strip sponsorship separately, after Manchester United.
It is the third commercial agreement announced by Liverpool this month, following partnerships with American snack retailer Dunkin Donuts and carmaker Vauxhall. The Reds currently earn £20m a year from bank Standard Chartered for shirt sponsorship.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, revealed England full-back Baines had signed a new four-year contract following months of speculation about a move away from Goodison Park.
Manchester United were long-term suitors of the 29-year-old, but they currently sit seventh in the Premier League, five points behind Everton, and are thought to have turned their attentions to Southampton youngster Luke Shaw.
Martinez, who could hand a debut to loan striker Lacina Traore at Anfield, called the Baines contract “an incredible boost”, adding: “He has been performing as one the best left-backs in European football and the best is yet to come.”