Tour de France champion Alberto Contador would like to race with a Spanish team next year but refused to rule out staying with Astana until his contract with the Kazakh-funded outfit runs out in 2010.
Astana has not yet been granted a ProTour licence by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for next season and the 26-year-old Spaniard told sports daily AS his lawyers were "studying" the possibility that he would leave the team next season.
"Of course I would like to race for a Spanish team and Caisse (d'Epargne) is incomparable, we will see what is going to happen," he said.
"But I would also like to get to know Astana's project. The new directors seem serious to me, even though they (Astana) don't yet have a ProTour licence, and there are still some very good riders at the team."
Contador won the Tour de France in 2007 with Discovery Channel and again this year with Astana which he joined in the 2008 season.
Last week a UCI spokesman said Contador could leave Astana under the governing body's rules if the team does not get its ProTour licence renewed.
Among the teams said to be interested in signing the rider are Garmin, Quick Step, Liquigas, Caisse d'Epargne and Sky. The last two teams, however, still must get their ProTour licence for next season, just like Astana.
© AFP 2009