Last updated : 12 January 2003 By Editor

From The People:

Nike have fired another salvo in their boot war with adidas by poaching Fabien Barthez from their arch-rivals.

The American sportswear giants - who supply Manchester United's kits - signed the flamboyant Frenchman after adidas let their guard slip and failed to offer him a new deal.

Barthez has always worn adidas Predators... but he jumped ship when Nike offered him a three-year deal worth around £150,000.

Nike's move is all part of their long-term strategy to add as many United players as possible to their bulging portfolio.

A Nike insider confirmed: "Now we've got the most high- profile Premiership keeper of the lot. Fabien is a magnificent signing and it's all the sweeter because we've nicked him from adidas. They will be smarting."