Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr. is close to agreeing on a new deal with Nike, as per a fresh report from ESPN.
According to sources, the agreement may be finalised this month, and this new contract has the potential of making the Brazilian international one of the biggest stars of the North American sports brand.
Nike deal close after a brief falling out
The negotiations over the contract between the two parties are now more about a marketing project and the development of the 23-year-old Los Blancos ace than about the financial aspect.
Fred Pena, the CEO of Roc Nation Sports Brazil, the agency that represents Vinicius, is leading negotiations with Nike on behalf of the attacker.
It must be remembered that Vinicius and Nike had a falling out towards the end of 2022, with the Real Madrid ace seriously considering terminating the relationship.
Despite being sponsored by Nike since the age of 13, Vinicius felt dissatisfied with the terms of his contract, believing that they did not adequately reflect his newfound success.
On February 2, whilst playing in a La Liga game against Valencia, the Merengues winger concealed the brand of his boots by painting them in black.
However, it appears that the two parties have now mended their relationship and a new contract is close to being finalised.
Vinicius agreed to the current deal with Nike, which runs for ten years, back in 2018, at the age of 18.
Apart from being close to signing a new deal with Nike, Vinicius also recently extended his contract with Real Madrid until 2027.
ESPN reached out to Nike for a statement, but there has been no response from the sporting goods giants.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.