Bayern Munich’s French superstar Franck Rib'©ry has further fuelled speculation that he could be heading out of Germany this summer by signing a contract with Nike that ties him with the American sportswear manufacturers until 2014.
The lucrative contract will see Rib'©ry bring in around 1.2 million annually in sponsorship money, while in turn promoting Nike football boots, according to German Sport Bild.
Ribery was used by Nike to promote the Vapor Berry
However, the new deal is extremely controversial as Rib'©ry is said to have violated a clause in his contract with FC Bayern that he signed on back in 2007. “Annex II” in the contract stated: If Rib'©ry’s agreement with the U.S. supplier Nike expires (June 30th, 2010), he should switch partners with Bayern’s kit supplier provided Adidas offers as much as Nike. Despite this he will remain with Nike against the terms of the contract.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the press:
Franck Rib'©ry’s contract with Nike will not affect his situation with Bayern. We will not be letting him go under any circumstances.
Ribery wears the Mercurial Vapor Superfly
Bild interprets this as a sign that Rib'©ry’s agent will surely be looking for a transfer to a top Nike sponsored European club. The likes of Manchester United and Barcelona have been mentioned.
Rib'©ry’s agent Alain Migliaccio has already been quoted as saying:
If Manchester United sell Cristiano Ronaldo, Sir Alex Ferguson would like to cover that transfer with Ribery’s signature.
Rib'©ry is contracted to Bayern Munich until 2011 and his importance to the club can’t be understated. His performances last season saw him crowned as Player of the Year in Germany and his native France. As such, the flying winger is one of Nike’s posterboy’s for the newly released Mercurial Vapor Superfly (which he wore last night, scoring the winner for France versus Lithuania) and could potentially be the ideal replacement for Ronaldo.