Radioshack-Leopard team manager Luca Guercilena has told Cyclingnews that he would understand if Frank Schleck accepted a contract from a team for the remainder of the 2013 season but stressed that he still wants both Schleck brother to race for the new-look Trek team in 2014.
Trek bought the Radioshack-Leopard UCI WorldTour licence from current team owner Flavio Becca for next year but has so far only signed between eight and ten riders according to Guercilena. The Schlecks could be part of the final roster despite Frank being released last week, although Cyclingnews understands that both riders have been offered new contracts that are far lower than their current deal.
"We have a bunch of let's say 12 riders that we'd either like to keep or already have contracts. Then we have another group that we're looking to keep and then we have a few spaces left for new riders," Guercilena told Cyclingnews at the Tour de France.
Voigt and Horner on Guercilena's radar
Evergreen riders Jens Voigt and Chris Horner are both on Guercilena's radar but have not signed agreements with the team as of yet.
"Right now we have 8 signed riders for next year. Lets say 8 to 10. We're talking to Jens Voigt at the moment and for sure we'd like to have him but it's up to him to decide about his future. It's the same a little with Chris Horner who we're in discussions with. As you know he had a big injury this year and has been out for some months. He's coming back though and we'll analyse and discuss with him."
The team has already confirmed that Fabian Cancellara will ride for the new look team for the next three years and will most likely see out his career with the team. However the Schlecks remain unsigned and have hinted they are open and considering other offers. Yet younger brother Andy has also stated his desire to sign with the team and Guercilena is aware that the brothers come as a package.
"We're talking to them and my personal wish is that we can go on through 2014 but like you know there are discussions and a general overview beyond 2014," Guercilena said.
"I hope that we can come out soon with a good relationship. We all know how important it is for
each brother that they ride together."
There were reports in the French media earlier this week that Frank Schleck may be on the verge of signing with Astana for the rest of the season after he was released by Becca following the conclusion of his ban for doping.
Guercilena appeared open to the idea, telling Cyclingnews that a short term move would be beneficial for Schleck's fitness given that he has not raced since last year's Tour de France.
"On the sports side, and just on that, it would be important because for an athlete who has stopped for one year and then comes back to the races it would help," he said.