Nibali has a contract with Trek-Segafredo for 2021 but Italian television journalist Beppe Conti recently reported that the four-time Grand Tour winner had received an offer from the British team for 2022.
Nibali’s agent Alex Carera initially dismissed the report, insisting they'd had no talks with Dave Brailsford’s team.
However, Carera offered a slightly different response when Spanish newspaper Marca returned to the topic this week.
"A move for Nibali to Ineos is complicated, but anything is possible in cycling’s transfer market," Carera said.
"It’s difficult, but not impossible."
The initial report of the potential move cited the influence of the Italian bike brand Pinarello, which is used by Ineos Grenadiers, as well as suggesting Nibali, now 36, would turn to a mentoring role.
"Nibali began racing on a Pinarello at Fassa Bortolo and the idea is for him to end his career on a Pinarello, acting as mentor for the team’s Grand Tour riders like Egan Bernal, Tao Goeghagan Hart, Richard Carapaz and Aleksandr Vlasov, who is also tipped to join Ineos in 2022," Conti said on RAI.
"With [Chris] Froome no longer in the team, they need a leader to help guide the young riders. I understand there’s been an important offer. It’s all still to be decided but we’ll see how Nibali responds."
In the wake of that report, Carera told Cyclingnews: "We haven’t had any talks with Ineos. Vincenzo has still to decide on his future but we always said we’d meet up with the Trek-Segafredo team management in the new year to talk about that. We’d only consider other options and other offers if we didn’t reach an agreement with them."
Nibali had pencilled in retirement for the end of 2021 but the COVID-19 pandemic has given him time to reflect and he has hinted about racing on in 2022.
The Italian, a winner of all three Grand Tours as well as MIlan-San Remo and Il Lombardia, turned 36 in November and spoke of a ‘generational shift’ at the Giro d’Italia, where he placed seventh overall. However, he still appears committed to battling for victories and will lead Trek-Segafredo alongside Bauke Mollema and Giulio Ciccone.
"That’s not so old that you should be cast aside, despite what the keyboard warriors might write,” he recently told La Gazzetta dello Sport. The key thing is your desire and the pleasure you get from riding a bike."
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