By Agence France Presse
Two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, under contract with Astana until 2010, has received offers from Garmin, Caisse d’Epargne and Quick Step as well as a proposed contract extension from Astana, a source close to the rider said Saturday.
The proposal from Caisse d’Epargne, which is home to several other Spanish riders including Alejandro Valverde, is the most attractive for Contador, the source told AFP. Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of the Garmin team’s management company, Slipstream Sports, has said that the team had only considered making an offer.
Meanwhile, Astana, which has had financial troubles this season, has offered the 26-year-old a new, improved four-year contract. Contador declined the offer and, according to his brother, is also exploring his legal options regarding the remaining year on his contract.
Contador, the winner of the 2009 and 2007 Tour of France and the 2008 Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, wants to leave Astana, even if he must compensate the Kazakh side for breaking his contract.
But earlier this month Astana said in a statement that it expected he would remain at the team in 2010 in what was seen as a warning that the Spanish rider may have to fight if he wishes to leave.
Astana was created by and for disgraced Kazakh cyclist Alexander Vinokourov, who was thrown out of the 2007 Tour de France for homologous blood doping.
Having recently returned to competition Vinokourov wants to race for Astana again and has thrown his weight behind keeping Contador in the team.