UK soccer star Raheem Sterling close to signing six-figure Apple endorsement deal

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A winger with U.K. soccer club Manchester City, Raheem Sterling, is nearing a lucrative deal to endorse Apple devices, a report said on Thursday.

Sterling would be paid approximately £250,000 ($353,725) per year for his cooperation, the immediate goal being to build Apple's campaign for the 2016 European Championship finals, according to The Sun. That plan is allegedly dependent, however, on Sterling recovering from a groin injury on March 20, which may have knocked him out of play for up to eight weeks.

The footballer would be the first U.K. athlete to push Apple products. Other marketing ambassadors from sports include Americans Serena Williams (tennis) and Steph Curry (basketball), along with Brazilian-born soccer star Neymar.

Although Apple has long flirted with celebrity endorsements, that strategy has intensified in the past year or so. On Monday alone the company premiered seven new Apple Watch ads, featuring people like Nick Jonas, Alice Cooper, and Chloë Sevigny.

The Sun didn't say what product or products Sterling might be selling, but some candidates might include the Apple Watch and/or Beats headphones, given their strong associations with sports.