Whether Mark Cavendish will ride for Etixx-Quick-Step next season is down to how much the principal sponsor is willing to pay, Patrick Lefevere joked

Etixx-Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere joked with the boss of his title sponsor that it was up to him to stump up the cash to keep Mark Cavendish at the Belgian team next year.

Marc Coucke, CEO of Etixx’s parent company Omega-Pharma, was a guest on the Belgian television programme Cafe Corsari on Wednesday, where he discussed team affairs with Lefevere and Tom Boonen.

Cavendish’s contract is set to expire at the end of the year and Lefevere seems keen to keep the Manxman, as long as the money is in place to do a deal.

When questioned on the situation, Lefevere directed his answer at Coucke: “He is quite happy in our team. Whether he rides next year for us – that depends on what you want to pay, Marc?”

Rumours circulated in February that Cavendish would look to leave Etixx after the arrival of Colombian sprint prodigy Fernando Gaviria for next season, but he took to Twitter to say he was ‘over the moon’ with the signing.

With 12 victories to his name already in 2015, Cavendish will be looking to add to his tally of 25 Tour de France stage wins when the race rolls out of Utrecht on July 4.