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Could Nairo Quintana be riding for Astana next season?

Joe Robinson
10 Aug 2017

With relationships tender, rumours surrounding Quintana's departure begin to build

Rumours that Nario Quintana could be on his way out of Movistar and signing for Astana or Trek-Segafredo could be coming true, according to reports in Italy. 

Reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport have suggested that Nairo Quintana has moved closer to a move away from Movistar, breaking his contract, with a decision due Monday. 

For Quintana's standards, the 2017 has been below average. After attempting the Giro d"Italia-Tour de France double, the Columbian only managed second in the Giro and twelfth at the Tour. 

It is reported that this attempt was a contentious issue for the team and Quintana, with the rider reportedly wanting to only ride the Tour. Furthermore, after the Giro, the team were not happy with Quintana wanting to return home to Columbia, making him stay in Monaco instead. 

With the retirement of Alberto Contador and imminently expected transfer of Fabio Aru to UAE Team Emirates, teams that would certainly be looking for a rider of the calibre of Quintana would be Trek-Segafredo and Astana. 

With Astana losing Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru in consecutive years, general manager Alexander Vinokourov will be keen to fill the general classification void and will certainly have the budget to do so. 

With the likes of Miguel Angel Lopez and Jakob Fuglsang unproven over three weeks, the signature of Quintana could be a surefire guarantee for grand tour success.

Another team that could also home the Columbian is Trek-Segafredo. With the recent retirement of Alberto Contador, the American WorldTour team will be looking to bolster their grand tour roster. The wage of Contador will be now free and this could help towards convincing Quintana. 

One issue that engulfs these rumours, however, is that 27-year old is under contract until 2019. Gazzetto dello Sport claim that for the contract to end early, Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzue would have to pay Quintana €6million, two years wages. 

When the first rumours circulated about Quintana leaving surfaced, it seemed unlikely a move would happen. Yet with relationships clearly dicey, and the transfer of Mikel Landa to Movistar expected to be announced soon, the momentum behind these reports could be building.