According to Spanish sports daily AS, Lionel Messi’s sponsor Adidas could be the key to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner leaving Barcelona. The paper claims to have a report from the brand that says some 70 percent of people associate Messi with Nike and not Adidas, since Nike sponsors the Catalan giant. As such, Adidas thinks the confusion is adversely affecting global sales, and therefore wants the player to align with a team that wears the brand on its jersey, too.
Meanwhile, it has been rumored for months that the German apparel company would be willing to invest a significant amount of money to ‘assist’ any Adidas-wearing club wanting to sign Messi. This includes Chelsea and Manchester United, which will wear Adidas beginning next season. However, in an alternate scenario, the AS report alleges that Adidas could look to replace Nike as Barcelona’s sponsor.