Wout Poels could be leaving Team Ineos after five years, as rumours have resurfaced that Mark Cavendish could be joining Bahrain-Merida.
Dutchman Poels could be leaving the British WorldTour outfit to also join Bahrain, according to reports.
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Poels, Cavendish and Bernie Eisel could all be making the switch to the Middle East-based team, which will be run by new principal Rod Ellingworth.
All three riders have ridden for Team Sky, where Ellingworth was a co-founder and long-standing performance director.
Ellingworth will start his new job as team principal at Bahrain-Merida at the start of October, while current general manager Brent Copeland will stay in his current job and work with the Brit.
Mark Cavendish and Ellingworth have a long history of working together, including the successful 2011 World Championships won by the Manxman and at Team Sky in 2012.
Cavendish was believed to be in talks with the Bahrain squad last season, as British motor racing giant McLaren came on board as 50 per cent partner in the team, but the deal fell through and the sprinter re-signed with Dimension Data for another year.
But rumours of his joining have resurfaced after Dimension Data didn’t select him for the Tour de France, supported by Ellingworth’s new role at the team.
According to the reports, Cavendish would also take his trusted lead-out rider Bernhard Eisel with him from Dimension Data.
Poels’s contract with Team Ineos expires at the end of the season and he could also be joining Ellingworth, having first signed with the British team in 2015.
The 31-year-old has been a faithful lieutenant in Grand Tours, supporting Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal to their three-week victories