Spanish outlet SPORT has reported that the biggest ever sponsorship deal between a club and a brand signed by music and audio streaming service Spotify and Barcelona will be made official next week.
Barcelona will be parting ways with current brand partner Rakuten – who currently adorn Barcelona men’s team shirts and feature in the majority of the club’s marketing materials – soon. The Catalan club had been looking out for a replacement for a while and eventually settled on Spotify, according to reports.
SPORT reports that the Swedish company is going to sign a four-year contract with Barcelona and will be investing €60 million every year – totalling €240 million for the duration of the contract – into the club’s activities, providing a much-needed injection of funds into the club who currently have financial troubles to deal with.
Spotify directors led by CEO Daniel Ek have reportedly been in Barcelona for days to conclude the details of the deal, which will see Spotify not only become the club’s major shirt sponsors but also their training kit sponsors.
Spotify are also vying for the naming rights of the club’s stadium, Camp Nou, and the reports also claim that the talks are progressing well. Barcelona’s general manager Ferran Reverter is currently in the United States of America for those discussions.
Barcelona, however, are still on the lookout for a new sleeve sponsor with their Beko deal having expired earlier in the season. The club has been in talks with cryptocurrency company Polkadot to become the new sleeve sponsor. The cryptocurrency company was also reportedly offering half of what Spotify offered to be the club’s main sponsors.
Elsewhere, Barcelona and manager Xavi Hernandez are already looking into the summer and have identified the defence as the key area to be strengthened.
The Catalan club went all out in the summer and winter windows of the current season and strengthened their attacks with a number of signings. They have now chosen to turn their attention to the defence according to the latest reports.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta and most of the upper room of the club are prioritising the signing of Erling Haaland, but Xavi considers reinforcing the club’s rearguard as a more important endeavour to be undertaken in the summer.
SPORT claims that the Barcelona manager is planning as many as three signings in the summer transfer window starting with a right-back and two centre backs. The signing of a new right-back is pertinent as the coming summer could see the departure of both of Barcelona’s right-backs in Sergino Dest and Dani Alves while the signing of centre-backs is reportedly to replace Gerard Pique who could be stepping down from Barcelona at the end of the season, as well as to replace both Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti who are high on the club’s transfer list.
SPORT also claims that Barcelona are close to the signings of Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen who are both set to become free agents in the summer. Azpilicueta would resolve the right-back problem in the short term while Christensen will fill one of the centre-back slots as a long term option.
Xavi also has his sights set on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and hopes the club can be able to convince the Frenchman who is also wanted by Chelsea.