Astana-Premier Tech sports director wants Vincenzo Nibali to finish his career with the team

The Italian veteran spent four years at the team from Kazakhstan before leaving in 2017

A sports director at Astana-Premier Tech has said that he wants Vincenzo Nibali to return to his team for the last season of his career.

Giuseppe Martinelli has made it very clear that he wants Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) to come back to his team for the last season of his career, five years after he left the squad to join Bahrain-Merida in 2017.

The 36-year-old Sicilian has previously said he wanted to retire at the end of the 2021 season, after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but rumours suggest he may continue into 2022.

His contract with Trek-Segafredo comes to an end at the close of the 2021 season.

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Speaking in Gazzetta dello Sport, Martinelli said: “If I get the chance to sign him, I will not fail to do so,

“I would therefore also like him to end his career with the team. I still love him. In the four years that he was at Astana, we’ve never had a disagreement. He came when he was already a champion, but we still had common ground.

“He will not come to win the Giro d’Italia, but to end his career with pleasure.”

Nibali had his most successful seasons when he was at Astana-Premier Tech where he won the Giro d’Italia twice in 2013 and 2016. He also took his only Tour de France title in 2014 as well as several other top level wins including Tirreno-Adriatico and Il Lombardia.

Back in 2018, Nibali told Cycling Weekly that he had been considered by then Team Sky, now Ineos Grenadiers, but nothing materialised.

“I’m happy that in the past Team Sky have considered me.

“In the past we haven’t found the deal, but for sure Team Sky is one of the best teams in the word, they have won a lot of Tours de France and big tours – Giro d’Italia and Vuelta.

“We can open talks with all teams seriously and for sure Sky is one of the teams. We’ll take the decision about my future next year.” He then went onto join Trek-Segafredo.

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This rumour came up yet again last year as reports suggested he will be joining Ineos for 2022 in his last season, to bring some experience and guidance for the young leaders with an offer via Italian bike brand Pinarello. Nibali’s agent, Alex Carera, was quick to deny this.

“We haven’t had any talks with Ineos. Vincenzo has a contract with Trek-Segafredo for 2021 and he’s very happy there,” Carera told Cyclingnews.

“Vincenzo has still to decide on his future but we always said we’d meet up with the Trek-Segafredo team management in the new year to talk about that. We’d only consider other options and other offers if we didn’t reach an agreement with them.”