Barcelona Reportedly Eye Pepsi Shirt Sponsor as Alternative to Qatar Airways

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2016

UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED:  This handout composite photo provided by Pepsi on February 18, 2014, shows an artwork of Leo Messi created by Argentinean artist Ever, who was one of the six street artists commissioned by PepsiMax as part of the brand's 'The Art of Football' collection. #FutbolNow. (Photo by Pepsi via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Pepsi is reportedly one of the leading candidates to take over as Barcelona shirt sponsors next season if the Spanish giants are unable to reach an agreement with Qatar Airways to renew their deal.

According to a report from Spanish website, the Blaugrana have opened talks with Pepsi in recent days, and negotiations are alleged to already be "very advanced" (h/t Sport).

Should Barca strike a deal with the American company, it's understood they'd be in line to net a whopping €60 million (£46.7 million) per season. Barcelona representatives were reportedly present at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday in order to advance talks with Pepsi.

That figure would see the Catalan titans rival Manchester United's lucrative agreement with American motor brand Chevrolet, which the Independent's Zachary Davies Boren reported last year to be worth £53 million per season.

However, even that number supposedly wouldn't be enough to tempt Barcelona into an agreement, and it's added Luis Enrique's side could end up playing without a sponsor next term unless their demands are met.

According to Davies Boren, Real Madrid's agreement with Emirates means they only rake in a reported £25 million (£19.5 million) per year, meaning Barcelona's new contract could dwarf that of their rivals in time for next season.

Barcelona are currently level with foes Real in shirt sponsorship earnings, but they're looking to make a substantial jump next season. Club stars, such Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique, are already part of the drinks company's advertising.

Barca are already one of the biggest draws in football thanks to the goods they produce on the pitch, but a deal with Pepsi would give them the means to strengthen the squad considerably in the transfer market.

Last season's treble winners are hoping to establish themselves as the dominant power in Europe once again, and one of the biggest contracts in shirt sponsorship history would be likely to help them do just that.