Barcelona's whopping new sponsorship deal is one of the biggest in history 2 years ago

Barcelona's whopping new sponsorship deal is one of the biggest in history

Don't worry Manchester United fans. Your team might not be firing on all cylinders at the minute, but you can still go to bed tonight knowing that no other football team - not even the mighty Barcelona - can compete with you when it comes to lucrative shirt sponsorship deals.

That said, Barca's new deal does come close...

Announced today, the Spanish champions have inked a deal with Rakuten, operators of the largest online shopping website in Japan, which the Daily Mail report will net them around £53m a year- second only to United's Chevrolet deal.

The four-year-agreement has an option of a one year extension and replaces the current Barca deal with with Qatar Airways.

FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Rakuten were also in talks to become Manchester City's sponsor back in 2011. As part of the deal, the company requested that City change their shirt colour to (you guessed it) red. Funnily enough, the deal wasn't agreed.

Interestingly, it was also revealed by Barca president Josep Bartomeu on Wednesday that the early stages of negotiations with Rakuten were organised by defender, Gerard Pique.

"The deal began at a dinner hosted by Gerard Pique at (Rakuten CEO) Hiroshi Mikitani's house in San Francisco in 2015," Bartomeu explained.