Saturday 18 November 2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's unusual football boot decision is costing him millions of pounds

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: A thoughtful looking Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United during the EFL Cup Final match between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: A thoughtful looking Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United during the EFL Cup Final match between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Mark Critchley

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Manchester United striker, is reportedly losing out on millions of pounds by playing without a boot sponsorship deal following a breakdown in his relationship with Nike.

The 35-year-old, who has already scored 26 times this season following his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, has exclusively worn the American sportswear giant’s footwear since 2003.

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According to The Sun, however, the two parties are no longer working together, and Ibrahimovic has no ties to any other company.

The first signs of a breakdown in relations came during last summer’s European Championships, when the former Sweden international was pictured training in a pair of Adidas boots.

Hebert Hainer, then-CEO of Adidas-Group, expressed an interest in signing Ibrahimovic to a deal, telling Bild: “We will see after the Euros… We are always interested in good players.”

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However, Ibrahimovic returned to wearing Nike footwear for his competitive United debut in the Community Shield against Leicester City.

The Swede has switched between the two sportswear brands throughout the rest of the campaign, suggesting that he currently has no exclusivity deal in place with either.

In his most recent appearance, his match-winning display in Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton, Ibrahimovic opted to wear Adidas boots.

The former Juventus, Internazionale and Barcelona striker has enjoyed a successful debut season in English football, but he is yet to commit to another year at Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic's one-year contract contains an extension clause and has said he will “see what happens” about his future.

“We have another two months of the season to go,” Ibrahimovic said following United's win on Sunday. “Let's see how I feel, the situation. Somebody made up a story that if we don't qualify for the Champions League I will not extend. It has nothing to do with that.”

(© Independent News Service)

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