Queen are set to quit EMI after 40 years with the label.

The legendary band - originally fronted by the late Freddie Mercury - are in talks with Universal Music Group to sign a deal that is reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds.

A source told The Times newspaper: "EMI just decided they couldn't compete. It was too much to pay and they want to spend that money on developing new talent."

The Departure is another blow for the struggling record company, after Sir Paul McCartney and Radiohead also left after the buyout by private equity company Terra Firm.

Queen's back catalogue is one of the most profitable in the music industry, and will be a valuable asset to Universal. The band's 'Greatest Hits' album is the best-selling LP of all-time in the UK and they have shifted over 300 million albums while signed to EMI.

The band are now expected to see out the remainder of their EMI contract, which expires at the end of the year.

Brian May and Roger Taylor still occasionally play live as Queen, but have been without a frontman since Paul Rodgers parted ways with the group in 2009.