The Zlatan Ibrahimovic boot saga rumbles on. Chances are, that Nike and adidas have both placed the ball in Zlatan's court but the Swede is taking his time to decide who to hit it back to, or if to hit it back at all. As Ibra flirts with both the F50 and the Vapor X we re-visit his options ahead of his next and probable final brand contract.

In the world of football, there may be no personality as big as Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Scratch that...there is certainly NO personality as big as Zlatan. From speaking of himself in the third person, his fantastic autobiography and the ability to back up every wild claim that he makes, Zlatan keeps control of every moment on and off pitch.

With that in mind, the last few months has seen Ibra ditch his long-preferred Nike boots for a pair of blacked out adidas F50 adizeros. Those following the scenario closely had practically accepted that the big man was about to jump ship between the industry's most fierce rivals... and then... nothing.

Some descriptionNov 2014: Zlatan switches into a blackout Tiempo to signal Nike contract had expired. 

For several weeks, the extremely talented Swede sported a pair of the last generation F50 painted to conceal the potential move to the three stripes. As we all know, the international sign for “come pay me to wear your product” had been put in place by Zlatan a few months earlier as his Mercurial Vapor had gotten the blackout treatment, and (after a brief injury spell) he switched into blackout Tiempos as he awaited a potential suitor for his feet.

Speculation led to PUMA being the early unofficial front-runners for his signature with most believing that Zlatan would be a perfect fit for PUMA or a smaller brand hoping for a massive face to jump-start a new boot. However, after the emergence of the blackout adizero during PSG’s matches, his move to the three stripes seemed to be imminent and, considering the #therewillbehaters campaign, Ibra would have been the perfect face to have standing beside Suarez in the newest F50 commercials.

Some descriptionDec 2014: Zlatan wears a blacked-out version of the adidas F50 adizero.

Before we assume that Zlatan’s reticence to don a boot whose ad campaign seems perfect for his attitude is based on his footwear preference, let us look down a few other rabbit holes. First, the focal point of the PSG attack is 33 years old and, despite his talent seeming to flow from the same fountain of youth that Pirlo and Ryan Giggs regularly seemed to visit, any brand will be terrified of tying down an older superstar to a massive deal.

Considering Zlatan is not the face of a signature boot, he would simply be a member of a group providing press and support for a “standard” silo. With what Ibra thinks of himself, he will definitely be demanding a contract as big as his own ego from any brand confident of sitting at a negotiating table with him.

While we may think it to be a no-brainer signing, brands will not be too hasty to place so much money on a player no longer on the international scene and with the possibility of riding off into the sunset at any moment. Could the issue with Zlatan’s boots be on the part of someone actually not having tied the player down yet? Or, is adidas already kicking themselves a bit over their newest athlete?

Some descriptionFeb 2015: Zlatan trains in the new generation adidas F50 adizero.

The possibility that most seem to be jumping to is that Ibra is not a big fan of the newest adizero F50, backed up by the fact he trained in them before switching into the Mercurial Vapor X during PSG's 2-2 draw with Caen at the weekend. A change from the way the hybridtouch is laid out or the newest stud configuration...something might have kept Zlatan from making a permanent move. Perhaps these last few months was a bit of back-and-forth between Nike and one of their ex-athletes...Zlatan trying to convince Nike that he was more than capable of finding another big fish to pay for his services, and Nike attempting to call Zlatan’s bluff. Will this story end with Ibra finding his way back to the sea of Swoosh after all this time?

Some descriptionFeb 2015: Zlatan switched back into a black out Nike Mercurial Vapor X.

Another point to consider is that the upcoming summer is rumoured to be one the biggest for boot releases since...well...last summer. Adidas, PUMA and Nike are all set to continue trying to one-up each other, while several smaller brands are hoping that 2015 can be their year to shine. Placing Zlatan in one of any company’s silos would be a huge way to kick start attention on any boot and the personality that we have all come to love/hate with the infamous player would lend itself famously to any type of ad campaign. Perhaps a contract that matches up with the desires of Zlatan is just on the horizon…

Only Zlatan knows…considering everything that we know (and, don’t know) about the player, he may have chosen that any attention away from his play is unneeded...will he retire in blackouts? It does feel very... Zlatan.