Chris Froome could leave Team Ineos before the Tour de France to join Israel Start-Up Nation, The Times reports.
The four-time Tour de France winner is out of contract at the end of the current season and, with internal competition from Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, may be tempted to look elsewhere to ensure leadership at future Tours de France.
The Times says that Froome is considering an offer from Israel Start-Up Nation that could see him bought out of the remainder of his contract and competing against Ineos at this year’s Tour de France.
Officials from Israel Start-Up Nation refused to comment, saying, “We never comment on interest or negotiations. But, certainly we respect Chris Froome as a rider and as a person, and his past accomplishments speak for themselves.”
Bahrain McLaren were previously believed to be the favourites to sign Froome, reuniting him with Mark Cavendish and Rod Ellingworth, but Israel Start-Up Nation owner Sylvan Adams has made no secret of his desire to rapidly advance the team to a major Grand Tour force.
Chris Froome has made a fifth Tour de France win his primary target during recovery from serious injuries sustained in the summer of 2019.