Elia Viviani is on the verge of a surprise return to Ineos Grenadiers according to reports.
The Italian sprinter is out of contract at Cofidis and was expected to join Astana this summer.
But, according to reports in Italy, the 32-year-old has been tempted by enquiries from Ineos, and is set to join up with the British squad for the 2022 season and beyond.
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The report in Gazzetta dello Sport says that Viviani will sign a three-year deal, which would see him ride alongside compatriot Filippo Ganna up until the Paris Olympics, with the pair expected to target track events.
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Ganna was the star of the Italian cycling squad at the recent Tokyo Olympics, powering the men’s team pursuit side to gold in Japan.
And the prospect of training alongside Ganna is believed to have been too tempting to turn down for Viviani.
Viviani rode for Ineos under their previous guise as Team Sky between 2015 and 2017, during which time he also balanced his team’s road commitments with his track aspirations at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
He took home omnium gold from the Rio Games, but had to settle for bronze in the same event in Tokyo.
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