Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford's elevated status in global popularity over the past 12 months, has now seen him grab the interest of one of the giants in the sportswear industry, in an attempt to poach him from Nike with a multi-million-pound deal.
Rashford, 23, has become a global icon for his humanitarian influence relating to his campaigns to help homelessness and child hunger in the United Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This has earned him the recognition of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) from the Queen, as well as being a part of Time Magazine's prestigious Next 100 list for 2021 - this amongst a host of other highly acclaimed awards.
The definition of a role model
With the status of being one of the most important players at one of the biggest clubs in world football which is already attractive for sponsorships and brands, his recent philanthropy and influence on political movements have made PUMA ready to offer him the chance to become the face of their brand.
Having already secured the most expensive footballer of all-time, Neymar, from Nike, Rashford's deal is coming to an end, and the Daily Mail reported that both companies are scrambling to secure his signature.
According to the English publication, the German sportswear giant is just one of several brands that are keen on plucking him away from Nike, though they are the only ones ready to place a concrete offer at this stage.
With Rashford now elevated as one of the most in-demand sporting figures in the world, his pay-day could be expected to usurp the mammoth £21-million (R442m) annual sponsorship Neymar currently enjoys after signing with PUMA.
At 11 years old, Rashford was the youngest ever footballer to sign for the brand and with his 12-year association, Sports Mail confirmed that they have a clause to match any offer presented from a rival in order to retain his services.
It’s important to stress that Nike also has matching rights to any rival offer made to the 23-year-old and there is a feeling the forward is open to continuing the long-standing partnership if an agreement can be reached.
Scroll through the gallery to see the South African footballers currently sponsored by PUMA
Did you know?
Rashford has already played 255 times for the Red Devils first-team since making his debut in February 2016.
Your thoughts, please?
Should Rashford become the next poster boy for global football?