The mystery surrounding Mesut Özil continues. The Real Madrid superstar and German international caused quite a stir in the boot community when he first wore the adidas Predator LZ in Madrid's pre-season fixture with AC Milan.
What was initially regarded as a one-off boot switch has quickly escalated into what could be one of the biggest brand transfers of the year. Has Özil jumped ship to adidas and are Nike on the verge of losing one of their biggest stars?
In Real Madrid's first-leg Supercopa tie with Barcelona Özil took to the Camp Nou pitch wearing his Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII Clash football boots. Following Madrid's opening 3-2 defeat, the midfielder has played two consecutive games wearing the adidas Predator LZ – Madrid's La Liga defeat to Getafe and their Supercopa home-tie with Barcelona.
For the past two years, Özil has been one of Nike's most high profile and frequently promoted athletes. The tricky German was the stand out player of the 2010 World Cup and was subsequently rewarded with a mega-money sponsorship contract from Nike.
In a deal worth a reported $5.6m, Ozil and Nike reached an agreement which would see the midfielder wear Nike product for the next four years, with an option to renew in 2015. The deal has seen him become Germany's top-earning sportswear endorser.
The long-term contract makes Ozil's current switch to rivals adidas even more surprising and controversial. A quick look at Özil's Facebook page would suggest that he's still a heavily endorsed Nike athlete – only this month he ran a competition for a pair of signed Mercurial Vapor VIII football boots.
Nike are keeping tight-lipped on the situation but deny the possibility that Özil's contract has been cut short, stating that; “Nike has a long binding contract with Özil. We won't make any further comment since we don't comment on our sports marketing deals.”Are the days of seeing Mesut Özil in Nike football boots numbered and have adidas pulled of another coup by landing one of Europe's top players from Nike? Mesut Özil's next game for Real Madrid will be on September 2nd when Real Madrid take on Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu. Will it be three games in a row wearing the Predator LZ?
What do you think of Özil's boot switch? Would the Real Madrid midfielder be better suited at Nike or adidas? Let us know! Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.