Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar Jr. and sports brand Nike have decided to part ways after a 15-year relationship. The "break-up" was announced by Nike on Monday. Meanwhile, it is believed that rival brand Puma has swooped in to sign a new deal with the Brazilian.
"Neymar Jr will no longer be a Nike player as of August 31, 2020," read statement by Nike, which was reportedly sent to news agency Efe. However, the exact reason behind the premature termination of the contract has not been revealed. The former FC Barcelona star has been associated with Nike from way back when he was 13 years old. At the time, he was a young prodigy playing in the youth ranks of Brazilian club Santos.
Neymar's latest contract with the famous sportswear brand was signed in 2011. It is believed to be valid until 2022 but it has come to a premature end. Marca believes that German brand Puma has been breaking the bank to tempt Neymar into a new, lucrative deal.
Nike had reportedly offered the number 10 new values for the re-negotiation of his contract but the player has rejected all offers. It is believed that Nike had previously been paying Neymar in the vicinity of 40 million euros (GBP35.6 million) per season. It is not clear if the negotiations mentioned were for a contract renewal or a possible pay cut due to the current financial climate caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Puma will be shelling out huge wads of cash if they had actually tempted Neymar to drop his former sponsors. Neither Neymar's camp nor Puma have made any official announcements relating to the rumours. Either way, such a big name won't be without a big sponsor for very long. Whether it is Puma or not, one of the other sports brands will surely be inquiring. The question is, how much can these brands really afford to pay right now?
Puma has been getting more involved in football in recent years, taking more and more of a market share that has been dominated by Nike and Adidas. Some of Puma's partners are Manchester City, AC Milan, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Cesc Fabregas and Marco Reus.