Alberto Contador has reportedly been offered a new contract by Astana worth up to eight million Euros per season, on the condition that the two-time Tour de France winner remain with the team for a further four years.
Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that the Kazakh team made the offer to Contador's brother and agent, Fran Contador, over the weekend. It comes as the Spanish rider seeks to renegotiate the terms of his current contract with the team, which has one year to run.
The massive salary boost would far exceed the four million Euro that Contador is believed to have asked for as part of the renegotiation. The asked-for sum is based upon offers made by rival teams Garmin-Slipstream, Caisse d'Epargne and Quick Step. However, Astana has made the new offer on the basis that Contador will extend his tenure with the team for a further four years, through 2013.
In July, Contador was offered four million Euros per season with Astana on a four year contract; a deal that the Spaniard turned down. The latest proposal demonstrates the clear intent that Astana have to retain the services of Contador for the long term, despite the rider's recent efforts to exit his contract and leave the team.
While the new offer would exceed the financial conditions Contador has set forth, he has also asked for two further conditions aimed to ensure his participation in the Tour de France if he remains with the team. The 26-year-old has asked for an exit clause for the new contract in the case of a doping case within the team, and a written confirmation that Alexandre Vinokourov will not participate in the Tour.
The exclusion of Vinokourov from the Tour de France team would likely be a major sticking point in Contador's contract renegotiation, as the team's Kazakh-backers will expect Vinokourov to start the French Grand Tour.
Vinokourov was ejected from the 2007 Tour de France after a he tested positive for blood doping. His Astana team was subsequently excluded from the Tour de France in 2008, a decision that left Contador unable to defend his 2007 Tour title.
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