THREE of the biggest football shoe manufacturers are fighting to get Erling Haaland to lace up his boots when he runs on the pitch.
The 21-year-old strike sensation has worn pairs made by Nike, Adidas and Puma since signing for Manchester City this summer.
Haaland has been with Nike since his teens after the sportswear giants signed him when he was just 14 and playing in his native Norway.
But his contract with them expired earlier this year and he is yet to sign a new sponsorship deal.
While Nike is keen to define him in new terms, fellow sportswear brands Puma and Adidas are also after his signing, according to The Athletic.
And Haaland has worn boots made by all three manufacturers in recent weeks.
The £51.4million arrival donned a stylish pair of club-branded all-black Puma boots for his official City unveiling in June.
But then Haaland switched to a pair of Adidas for City’s pre-season win over Bayern Munich in Green Bay and the Community Shield loss to Liverpool.
Meanwhile, for both Premier League games so far, this Haaland campaign has returned to Nike boots.
The fact that his Nike contract expired earlier this year means he is currently free to wear whatever he wants on his feet.
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He scored one goal in two games wearing Adidas leather, compared to two in two wearing Nike.
Usually there is a six-month matching rights period when deals expire, allowing a player’s previous sponsor to match any new brands offers within six months of their deal ending.
And landing one of the most famous players in the world would be a huge blow for whoever manages to sign Haaland.
Nike’s most notable names in football are Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, while Adidas has both Lionel Messi and Mo Salah in its ranks.
Puma meanwhile is represented by Neymar and Antoine Griezmann.
But with Haaland set to be one of the players to take over when Ronaldo and Messi retire, landing the City star would be a major blow.
Sports industry expert Michele Rinchiuso said, “Having the best of the best is extremely important, and the cool factor for brands is very important.
“If the brand doesn’t have athletes who resonate with the market and can influence a generation, then you can invest as much money as you want, but no one will buy the product.
“Everyone knows Nike have Mbappe for the long term and the next big thing is Haaland.
“If you look at him from a superstar level, the only one available in the market with the potential to be a Ronaldo or a Messi for the next 10 years is Haaland.”