Movistar have denied the rumours that Chris Froome could be seeking a mid-season transfer to the Spanish WorldTour team, despite the enthusiasm of some Spanish pros.
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Rumours have linked the four-time Tour de France winner with a number of teams, including Israel Start-Up Nation who have not denied their interest, while Team Ineos have dismissed the speculation as “fake news.”
Reports recently suggested that Movistar, currently home to Alejandro Valverde, were one of the teams interested in signing Froome, but according Spanish newspaper Marca that the team is now denying the rumours.
A Movistar spokesperson said: “Froome today is not a possibility for 2020.”
But the possibility of Froome joining Movistar was met with enthusiasm from some Spanish pros, including José Joaquín Rojas.
Rojas tweeted: “My friend you know that in Spain you will eat very well and you will have very good coverage.”
Froome says he is back to his best after suffering awful injuries in a crash during last year’s Critérium du Dauphinè.
The 35-year-old is targeting a fifth Tour de France victory this year, if the Tour de France goes ahead on its rescheduled start on August 29.
It’s possible that the talk of Froome’s transfer stemmed from his agent, as he looks for a contract renewal with Team Ineos at the end of 2020, as his current deal with the team comes to an end.
But in recent years Froome has been forced to sacrifice his leadership responsibilities to his team-mates, first to Geraint Thomas mid-way through the 2018, then to Egan Bernal last year when his injuries forced him to skip the race.
Reports have also suggested his leadership for the 2020 Tour is not guaranteed.