Huawei has reportedly emerged as the latest candidate to replace Qatar Airways as Barcelona main sponsor ahead of the coming seasons. Catalan publication L'Esportiu claims that the La Liga giants have been in negotiations with the Chinese multinational in recent weeks as the club are looking to battle with Manchester United and Chelsea in the shirt sponsorship table with a deal worth around €60m (£52.2m, $65m).
Barcelona have been looking for a new sponsorship since last year as their previous agreement with Qatar Airways expired on 30 June. Amazon and Japanese firm Rakuten were reportedly among the contenders but, following unsuccessful negotiations, the club announced in July that they had extended their agreement with the airline for one more season, until June 217.
Qatar Airways has been Barcelona's main sponsor for the past four seasons in a deal reportedly worth only around £30.4m-a-season.
However, Barcelona have publicly admitted they have been in talks with other unnamed multinationals as they are looking to get between €60 and €65m from the new agreement in order to reach the level of certain Premier League giants. Yet, Manchester United reportedly netted a record £53m-a-year from Chevrolet, while Chelsea agreed the second-largest shirt sponsorship with Yokohama in a five-year deal last year that, according to The Telegraph, is worth almost £40m-a-year.
AS last week reported that Qatar Airways, Amazon and an unnamed multinational from Asia were the three contenders for the Barcelona sponsorship as the club are expected to announce their new main sponsor imminently.
Now L'Esportiu reveals that Barcelona have not ruled out continuing with the Gulf airline but Huawei has emerged as a new likely potential candidate as officials from the club have reportedly stepped up negotiations in recent weeks – and are said to be moving to complete a deal soon.
The Catalan publication adds that officials from the leading telecommunication company have visited Barcelona several times recently in order to replace Qatar Airways as Barcelona's main sponsor. L'Esportiu points out that Huawei is already one of Lionel Messi's main sponsor as the Barcelona star works as a global brand ambassador to the company.
The report add that Barcelona intends to sign an agreement with the new company until 2021 worth around €60m-a-season to put themselves in a similar financial level to Manchester United and Chelsea.