Chris Froome could leave Team Ineos before the Tour de France to join Israel Start-Up Nation, that is according to a report in the Times.
Matt Dickinson reports that Froome is considering an offer from the Israel-based team that could see the 35-year-old being bought out of the remainder of his contract which runs out at the end of the year.
Were the four-time Tour de France winner to follow that course of action he could theoretically line up for his new team at this year’s Tour de France, which is due to start on August 29.
The Times report that Team Ineos have not offered an extension to Froome’s current deal, with the team currently debating the make-up of their Tour squad and plans. As well as Froome, Ineos have the past two Tour de France winners, Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, fit and available.
Froome has made a fifth Tour de France win his primary target during recovery from serious injuries sustained in the summer of 2019, and it is believed that if the British rider feels he won't get that opportunity at Ineos then he is open to a move.
Froome's existing deal with Ineos comes to an end at the conclusion of the current season, and planned talks about an extension were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bahrain-McLaren were previously believed to be the favourites to sign Froome, reuniting him with Mark Cavendish and former Team Sky coach Rod Ellingworth. But Israel Start-Up Nation owner Sylvan Adams has made no secret of his desire to rapidly advance the team to a major Grand Tour force.
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The latest Froome reports follow on the heels of speculation in Cycling Weekly that suggested Israel Start-Up Nation were ready to launch a major spending spree in the second half of 2020, with Greg van Avermaet and Jasper Stuyven major targets alongside Froome.
The Israeli team became UCI ranked in 2015 and have yet to win a major stage or classic race.