Speaking to Le Télégramme earlier this week, Pineau said: “Yes, we are discussing. He is not one of the five who have already signed. He is someone I like very much. I would love to have him come to us but it’s quite complicated.
“Cavendish is a cycling legend. There is the sport but not only that… It’s like negotiating for a footballer. He wants to come to us, but he doesn’t want to retire here either. If he comes, it will be to win. We want to win together.”
Pineau finished by saying that it is currently “50-50” whether the transfer will happen or not.
Cavendish, who equalled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage wins last year, has been rumoured with a move to WorldTour teams Ineos Grenadiers and EF Education-EasyPost, but the B&B Hôtels-KTM links appear to hold the most credibility.
Though currently a ProTeam, B&B Hôtels-KTM are set to be the subject of a large investment, with French supermarket brand Carrefour reported to become a headline sponsor.
When asked about the deal, Pineau said: “I haven’t said anything since the Tour de France finished on 24 July. But, be assured, everything is going well. We’re advancing, we’re refining things. We’re going to release a statement in the second half of September.”
Pineau went on to confirm that the name of the team will be Paris and that their budget will be around €15 million.
The B&B Hôtels-KTM manager also said that his team have been active in the transfer window, though he did not confirm who he has recruited. “At the moment, I have signed five riders from the WorldTour,” he said. “We have strengthened in all areas. I haven’t signed a leader for the simple reason that there aren’t any on the market. There could be one or two more recruits. We are looking.
“Some names that were leaked were completely false. However, yes, I almost signed Michael Matthews. In the end he preferred to stay with his current team.”
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