The ailing label get a shot in the arm by holding onto one of the jewels in their crown...

Robbie Williams is close to signing a new £40 million five album deal with label EMI, it has emerged.

The star has been in talks with the label for some time and the news that one of their prize assets is staying with label is sure to buoy the ailing EMI group.

It had been rumoured that Robbie Williams was being chased by a number of American labels and he has made no secret of his desire to break the US. However, following complete integration with the Capitol label, EMI may now be a position to help > Robbie Williamsadvance in the States.

The £40 million figure is twice that originally offered by the label, The Times reported this morning (March 26). It also dwarfs the estimated £19 million kiss-off paid by EMI to Mariah Carey

to terminate her contract.

Last week, EMI announced it planned to shed around a fifth of its workforce – some 1,800 jobs – in a bid to save millions in costs. The news that the contract was close to being signed saw trading in EMI Group Plc edge higher in the markets this morning, according to

Robbie Williams is one of the best performing artists on EMI. His big band-themed ‘Swing When You’re Winning’ has already sold over five million copies since it was released last October.