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Stefan Küng is one of the most sought-after riders in the WorldTour and the Swiss rider is in negotiations with Team DSM about a possible move. VeloNews understand that Küng is hoping for a three year deal at around 1.2 to 1.5 million Euros per season.
Several teams have lined out offers for Küng in the last few weeks with Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates both showing interest. Trek-Segafredo had been linked to the rider but that move was never truly on. The American team already has 30 riders signed for next year and if they do bring in new recruits they are likely to be younger athletes.
DSM has been looking for a high profile rider for some time, especially after it was confirmed that Søren Kragh Andersen would be leaving at the end of the year.
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Küng is obviously a different style of rider but he would greatly improve the team’s quality.
There is a sticking point however. Although Küng is out of contract there is a clause in his current deal that means if another offer comes in for the Swiss rider then Groupama can keep their man if they match the bid.
VeloNews understands that Team DSM has been pushing extremely hard to get the deal over the line. UAE did want him but there are complications with that move because UAE has a Swiss parent company and that means there are issues around social security, tax and numerous other topics.
Bora had made an offer but could not come close to the rough estimation of a salary said to be between 1.2 and 1.5 million Euros. Küng was initially interested in Bora but the team simply didn’t have the budget.
Another important element is the Paris Olympics in 2024. Küng wants to move now so that he can build up towards the Games and develop technical aspects during the 2023 season. He is unwilling to move a year later as that time frame to work with material would be reduced to around six months.