Barcelona are on the verge of agreeing the biggest sponsorship deal in football history, according to The Mirror.
Citing a report from Catalan newspaper Ara, the British tabloid claim Nike will commit €100million a year to the Nou Camp club over ten years, bringing the total cost of the deal up to an astonishing €1billion.
Working out at around £80m-a-season, the deal will surpass Manchester United's agreement with Adidas, which is reportedly worth £75m over the same timeframe and is currently the biggest in the world.
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The La Liga champions have consistently provided Nike with significant sales in replica shirts and other merchandise and is thought to be one of the sports manufacturer's biggest accounts globally. Their continued position as the world's best football club will now see them rewarded with a significant pay rise.
Nike have paid Barcelona €35m-a-year over the course of the current agreement, which is due to expire at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. But it appears Nike have agreed to scrap that deal early in an attempt to fend off potential competition from their rivals Adidas and Puma.
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In recent years, Nike have stood by while Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal cut ties and moved to the German sporting manufacturers. They were significant blows to the Oregon-based company but losing Barcelona would be on a completely different scale.
For Barcelona's board, the agreement will come as a relief. They have had to impose financial restrictions on themselves after their wage budget exceeded the self-imposed limit.
At the moment, the wage bill is taking up an unsustainable 73 per cent of their total revenue and, under club rules, the board will have to step down if they cannot get it under control.
It left them unable to sign top target Nolito in the January transfer window and has also threatened to scupper contract talks with the likes of Neymar, Leo Messi and Sergio Busquets, all of whom want significant pay rises.
With a €600m renovation of the Camp Nou to pay for, the board are under significant pressure to make more money from commercial outlets.
Attention will now turn to a renewal with Qatar Airways over shirt sponsorship for next season. It was originally expected that Barcelona would sign a deal worth £47m-a-season but talks broke down in October and have failed to progress since then.
While interest from other companies is high, Barcelona are cutting it close. Their current deal with Qatar runs out this summer, potentially leaving them without a shirt sponsor for next season.
Qatar Airways remain the most likely company as talks are far from over but there is believed to be interest from China as well as fizzy drinks giant Pepsi. All interested parties will be asked to compete with Chevrolet's shirt deal with Manchester United, reportedly valued at £53m-a-season.
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