With the official transfer window now open, negotiations and deals have intensified, sparking rumours of riders changing teams and considering offers for 2014 and beyond.
According to today's Gazzetta dello Sport, the Astana team is looking to further strengthen its squad for 2014. The Kazkhstani team announced the signing of Franco Pellizotti and Lieuwe Westra on Thursday but team manager Alexandre Vinokourov would also like to sign Nairo Quintana.
The Colombian was the revelation of the Tour de France, finishing second overall and winning the climber's competition. He has a contract with Movistar for 2014 but the Spanish team is reportedly going to be register in Luxembourg for 2014 and so every rider's contract will have to be resigned. Vinokourov is hoping to steal Quintana away from rival manager Eusebio Unzue.
Gazzetta dello Sport also suggest that Astana is interested in signing Euskaltel riders Mikel Landa and Mike Nieve, with Ivan Basso a possible alternative as a super domestique for Vincenzo Nibali in 2014.
Basso has a contract with Cannondale for 2014 but the team is also planning to change its country of registration to save on tax and running costs. It needs extra funding to cover the cost of retaining Peter Sagan as team leader. The team is registered in Italy this year but could be registered in the USA or even in Ireland or Britain as are many Italian Professional Continental teams.
Cannondale is reportedly keen to sign Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini) and Marco Marcato (Vancansoleil-DCM) and has already invested in several young riders by signing Davide Villella the winner of the Giro della Val d’Aosta Under 23 stage race, Davide Formolo and former junior world road race champion Mathej Mohoric.
Felline, Van Poppels and Stuyven to Trek?
The Trek team has confirmed that Fabian Cancellara and Andy And Frank Schleck will ride for the new-look team in 2014 after the US bike brand bought the team's WorldTour licence from Flavio Becca.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Trek team manager Luca Guercilena is close to signing promising Italian rider Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli) and Boy and Danny Van Poppel Vacansoleil-DCM)
The Belgian Gazet Van Antwerpen newspaper has reported that Jasper Stuyven is also a target for Trek after riding for the Bontrager development team but has offers from Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Lotto Belisol.
The 22 year-old was the 2009 Junior world champion and won the junior Paris-Roubaix in 2010. He has won the Vuelta a Alentejo and a stage at the Tour de Beauce this year. He will ride the Tour of Utah next week.
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