Nacer Bouhanni’s agent has confirmed reports in L’Equipe that the sprinter has a number of potential suitors for next season with the rider’s contract at FDJ set to expire at the end of the year.
Paul De Geyter told Cyclingnews that there are up to seven top teams interested in signing the French sprinter but that no concrete talks have taken place with rider’s current team.
“It’s true that there’s a broad interest in Nacer but that’s logical as he’s one of only a couple of top sprinters who are free for next year. Kittel, Cavendish, Greipel, they’re all blocked for next year,” De Geyter told Cyclingnews.
“The only decision for Nacer at the moment is whether he will stay with his current team or not because he’ll have to talk with them in the coming days. We’ll know more then but the only thing that’s true is that there’s a broad interest in him. There are six or seven teams interested. They’re top teams.”
With the majority of the world’s top sprinters locked in contracts for 2015 – Peter Sagan aside – Bouhanni is undoubtedly one of the most sought after rider’s on the market. The 23-year-old turned professional with Marc Madiot’s outfit in 2010 and has developed into one of the best sprinters on the circuit. He has already taken five wins this season, and finished second in Saturday’s Giro d’Italia stage in Belfast.
“He’s happy and he’s had a lot of opportunities on the team. He’s not looking for a move but what he is looking for is a chance to develop as a rider in the next few years. Let’s not forget that he’s still a very young rider. His main need is to be on team where he can develop his potential. Of course that can still be FDJ.”
When pressed on the chances of Bouhanni remaining with the team, De Geyter said: “It’s hard to tell. I’ve not spoken to them yet. We’ve not had concrete talks with them yet.”
Speculation surrounding Bouhanni’s future partly stems from FDJ’s decision not to select him for Milan-San Remo back in March.
“He’s not angry. Of course he was disappointed as he should be but he turned that around for the next few races and he’s shown already in the Giro that he’s still motivated. It would be crazy if he wasn’t disappointed on missing out on Milan San Remo though, for a rider of his talents it’s a race he can win in the future but he wasn’t angry.”