Real Madrid's Gareth Bale is set to join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as a sponsorship behemoth with a new deal with Adidas reportedly in the offing.
The 24-year-old Welsh superstar has had links with Adidas since he was 16, but a new six-year extension worth £20 million covering his boots and personal sponsorship has reportedly been agreed.
Charles Sale of the Daily Mail provides the news:
Adidas had been uncertain about making Bale a marquee player while he wasn’t featuring in the Champions League for Tottenham. But the new deal comes with Bale central to Madrid’s quest for a 10th European Cup.
Bale moved to Madrid from Spurs for a world-record transfer fee of £86 million in the summer of last year and has become a key part of Carlo Ancelotti's side.
He has scored 18 goals in 33 matches in La Liga and the Champions League this season, per Squawka.com, and Real are now in the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition after coming through 3-2 on aggregate on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund in the last eight.
They currently sit three points behind league-leaders Atletico Madrid in third, with Barcelona two points ahead in second.
Bale's move to Los Blancos has made him a great deal more valuable commercially, a fact of which Adidas is clearly aware.
Sale also reported that an insider from the company said: "We were always confident of keeping Gareth, but the deal has to be right for both of us."
He joins the likes of Messi, Neymar, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie in Adidas' group of elite players and can now boast similar commercial value to the world's top players.
While Ronaldo's most recent deal with American sportswear giants Nike is worth £40 million over five years, his previous deal at the same age as Bale was worth £5 million a year, as reported by Paul Hetherington in the Daily Star.
The fact that Bale can demand similarly stratospheric sums of money as the biggest stars in the world shows how his profile has increased in less than a season playing for the Spanish club.
While the former Tottenham midfielder will not be appearing at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, even that does not seem to have hamstrung his commercial appeal.
Friday's Champions League draw will determine whether Real face Chelsea, Atletico or Bayern Munich in the semi-finals, with Bale and his team-mates likely to be hoping for the West London side—arguably the weakest team left in the competition.
If Bale can help Real reach the final and win their 10th European Cup, a feat which has eluded them since 2002, his stock would increase even further as a Champions League winner and Madrid legend.