Barcelona choosing from a dozen potential sponsors - club chief

Barcelona marketing and communication vice-president Manel Arroyo says the club will have a kit sponsor next season and "a dozen" global brands have shown an interest.

The Catalan outfit famously had no shirt sponsor at all until it partnered with UNICEF in 2006, and from the 2011-12 season until 2015-16 their jerseys featured first the brand of the Qatar Foundation and then Qatar Airways.

The deal with Qatar has not been renewed past the just finished 2015-16 campaign, and the club's new kit for next season has already gone on sale without any sponsor being included.

It had been expected that the Qatar deal would be renewed, however an apparent breakdown in relations between the parties has seen the issue drag on and on, after Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu criticised the Gulf state's internal politics during last summer's presidential elections.

Through recent months Barca figures including Arroyo have regularly flown to Qatar for apparent talks over the issue, and the marketing specialist denying reports claiming that kit suppliers Nike would have to be indemnified due to the delay in getting the 2016-17 strip to market.

Arroyo has now told La Vanguardia newspaper that Qatar Airways remain "best placed" to remain on the Barca shirt for next season, but there are other proposals which are "well advanced".

"We want to begin the season with a new sponsor," Arroyo said. "[Qatar Airways] are the best placed company, [but] we have another few projects well advanced. A dozen big global companies got in touch with us."

Arroyo added that when a deal was done Barca would earn more than rivals Real Madrid get from their sponsorship arrangement with Emirates.

"€60 to €65 million a year -- the price of our stars and the team is a high one," he said. "The truth is, for me, that Barcelona is financially and sportingly above Real Madrid."