Six biggest boot contracts players have signed – including £15m for wearing Nike
Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland is being chased by sportswear companies as well as a host of Europe's top clubs.
Haaland, who is expected to leave Dortmund in a mega-money transfer at the end of the season, is being pursued by German sportswear giant Puma after his previous deal with Nike expired this month.
And Puma are reportedly set to offer the 21-year-old a staggering €8million (£6.7m) per-year deal to join them – a sum which is worth more than five times the €1m (£836,000) he raked in from his deal with Nike.
But where would that deal put Haaland amongst some of football's other superstars who have inked lucrative deals in recent years?
Daily Star Sport takes a look at six of the biggest boot deals ever agreed in the wake of Puma's latest big-money pursuit…
Neymar – £23m
When it comes to sponsorship deals, Neymar's eye-watering agreement with Puma tops the lot.
The Brazilian megastar penned a lucrative deal with the German sportswear giants back in 2020.
It's not quite clear how long the agreement is due to run for, but it means that the PSG star will pocket a cool £23m a year – more than double what his previous agreement with Nike was worth.
As well as being a huge increase on his previous ideal with Nike, Neymar's mind-boggling partnership with Puma is the largest individual sports sponsorship deal in history.
Lionel Messi – £18m
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Lionel Messi first paired up with Adidas back in 2006 – so it wasn't really a surprise to anyone when Messi agreed to extend the long-standing partnership for life.
The Argentine superstar agreed to wear the iconic brand for the remainder of his playing days and beyond back in 2017.
The lucrative partnership is thought to be worth a staggering £18m a year.
And the deal even guarantees Messi will continue to rake the money in when he finally hangs his boots up due to the iron-clad terms.
Cristiano Ronaldo – £15m
Cristiano Ronaldo is Nike's highest earner – but his £15m yearly agreement is dwarfed by the likes of Neymar and Messi.
Ronaldo has the scope to eclipse their earnings in the long run, though, as he is also tied down to a lifetime deal with Nike.
It's estimated that the lifetime agreement that the Manchester United star inked back in 2016 could be worth as much as £780m.
The 36-year-old is only one of three athletes to be tied down to a lifetime deal by Nike alongside Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Kylian Mbappe – £14m
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Coming in just behind Ronaldo, Nike paid through the nose to oust Adidas in a two-way tussle to sign up Kylian Mbappe.
But it was Nike who came out on top – with Mbappe penning a 10-year extension to his existing agreement with the American giants worth a whopping £14m a year.
Given Mbappe is only 22, it feels inevitable that the French superstar will be in a position to knock Neymar from his perch at the top of the sponsorship standings considering his current deal will expire just as he hits his prime years.
In the meantime, he's likely to bag some big bucks if his free transfer to Real Madrid goes through next summer as expected.
Mario Balotelli – £5m
Mario Balotelli may be best known for his outlandish activities off the pitch, but Puma paid big money to clinch a deal with the Italian striker back in 2014.
Balotelli, who was on the books of AC Milan at the time, sparked a three-way bidding war after his deal with Nike expired.
That left the likes Puma and Adidas to battle with the iconic swoosh brand to tie down Balotelli – who was aged 24 at the time and considered one of Italy's best young prospects.
Puma won the battle and agreed a 10-year deal worth £5m a year.
Gareth Bale – £4m
It's clear the likes of Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo and Mbappe are in a league of their own when you consider the drop in value between their deals and Gareth Bale's.
The Welsh wizard is signed up to Adidas like Messi and that agreement banks Bales a cool £4m a year.
Bale has been on the iconic brand's books since the tender age of 16 and negotiated his current mega-money deal back in 2014; just after his record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid.
It remains to be seen how much longer he'll be on the books in Madrid though with his Real deal set to expire in the summer.
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