It has been less than a week since the January transfer window opened, and rivals cast nervous glances when Los Angeles Lakers star and Liverpool part-owner LeBron James exchanged profile pictures with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe on Instagram. The 22-year-old World Cup winner has been linked with an exit from Paris in recent times and the defending Premier League champions are touted as one of the potential destinations. And while Liverpool fans and Jurgen Klopp will be more than pleased to welcome Mbappe at Anfield, the latest swap with LeBron is a hint at their rumoured collaboration with Nike.
Eagle-eyed netizens were quick to spot that NBA superstar LeBron James and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe had switched profile pictures on Instagram. The 22-year-old has charted a rise to superstardom since breaking out at Monaco and already has won the World Cup. The PSG star is also a Nike athlete like LeBron himself, who helped Lakers end their NBA title drought last season. And while a Liverpool transfer would have shocked the world, the swap is in line with their special collaboration with Nike.
Lebron James, most notable for being a partial Liverpool owner, has just updated his Instagram avi to Mbappe 🤔 🧐 pic.twitter.com/GLMUkcrgXS— Banter FC (@BanterFC5) January 4, 2021
Every year since 2003, Nike has produced a LeBron sneaker with the latest edition being the Nike LeBron 18. The latest in line was released in September last year, and reports suggest that a new rendition of the same will hit the markets in the US this week. Scheduled for a January 7 release, the new Nike LeBron 18 will feature Mbappe’s colourway, but will only be available for grade school sizing. The French forward’s initials don the latter tone on the tongue’s upper-most visible Air Max unit while the shoe majorly indulges in black and purple, a tribute to his hometown country of France. Additional hits of red and blue throughout are a further acknowledgement of the French flag.
Official images of the upcoming Kylian Mbappé x Nike LeBron 18 pic.twitter.com/Qv6KlDymVC— SNKR_TWITR (@snkr_twitr) January 2, 2021
Cross-collaborations between the two sports are nothing new and PSG have recently lead the line after releasing their Jordan kit earlier this season. The Jordan Brand x PSG collection consists of more than 25 different pieces, from a beanie to a parka, and includes two specialized models of signature Air Jordans and two pairs of soccer boots. Last year’s Champions League finalists have a multi-year agreement to display the Jumpman logo on their kits, which was the Jordan brand’s first foray into the world of football.