By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Tottenham Hotspur have opened talks with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) over a naming-rights deal for White Hart Lane, according to a report.
The Times claim that Spurs chiefs are keen to secure a globally renowned partner for the redeveloped White Hart Lane.
It is said that the club’s success in selling more than 80,000 tickets for their first Champions League game at Wembley against Monaco has strengthened their conviction about the size of their domestic fanbase.
This will be used as a key lever in negotiations with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund over deal that is likely to be worth tens of millions of pounds.
Tottenham have learned that the emirate’s association with Barcelona is likely to end next summer. QIA currently sponsor the shirts of the Spanish champions.
Spurs are keen to have a big-money naming rights deal in place when the new 61,000-a-capacity stadium opens at the start of the 2018-19 season.
The London giants will smash the home attendance record for an English club competing in the Champions League in their group-stage opener on Wednesday night.
The club revealed on Friday morning that over 80,000 tickets have already been sold for the clash against Monaco at Wembley.
Spurs are anticipating a 90,000 sell-out at the national stadium in the first of their three home matches at Wembley this season.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 9, 2016
The match against Monaco is set to exceed Spurs’ largest-ever attended home fixture as well as being the biggest home crowd total for an English club competing in the Champions League.
Chairman Daniel Levy told the official Tottenham website: “The response from our fans has been fantastic and is testament to just how big this football club is.
“This is going to be the best attended Champions League home game in Britain ever – what a way for us to mark our return to the competition.”
Spurs’ current record for home attendance is 75,038 for a 1938 match against Sunderland at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham are playing all their Champions League home matches at Wembley this season because White Hart Lane’s capacity is reduced for its final season, to allow building work to continue on the new ground. But even when completely intact, the stadium held only a little more than 36,000.
Spurs plan to occupy their new £400million, 61,000-seat stadium from the start of the 2018-19 campaign, and their matches at Wembley should give the club a strong indication of their potential to attract support.
In other Tottenham news, a Bundesliga club is plotting a bid on this Spurs attacker, if his price drops in January.