Liberty v Balears for Valverde?
Monday, September 27, 2004 11.00pm
Although Alejandro Valverde is saying nothing about next season until this one is finished, his advi
PICTURE BY LAVUELTA.COM Although the Vuelta may not have turned out quite as he would have wanted, Alejandro Valverde is still very much in demand judging by the latest spate of speculative articles on his future in the Spanish press. Valverde may be sticking to his promise of saying nothing about his future team plans until the world championships are out of the way, but the multitude of rumours flying about suggest that he wants out of CV-Kelme, but not out of Spain. As he is not a Basque and consequently can't ride for Euskaltel, this leaves the Murcian and his representatives with just two options: Liberty Seguros or Illes Balears. According to this morning's Spanish papers, Valverde is reported to favour Illes Balears, perhaps because he had a spell with their amateur affiliate before moving to Kelme's amateur squad. But the problem for all concerned is the two million euro rescission clause in Valverde's contract, which makes a move by any team very expensive indeed. There is a chink of daylight for Valverde's suitors though, as his management team are seeking to have the clause annulled or, at the very least, seriously reduced. Their approach is said to be based on the fact that CV-Kelme were relegated to the second division this season and have not secured a Pro Tour place for next, which is said to breach Valverde's deal securing him to the team until 2007. In addition, that deal was signed with former Kelme team boss Pepe Quiles, who is no longer part of the team's management structure. What is certain is that both Liberty and Illes Balears have been cautious in the transfer market so far, perhaps because they want to leave some space for the undoubted talent of Valverde, as well as the substantial entourage of riders he is certain to bring with him. What is also certain is that one, and even both, of these teams is going to be very disappointed.
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