Bora-Hansgrohe manager Ralph Denk has raised doubts over the future of Peter Sagan at the German team.
The 31-year-old Slovakian joined Bora-Hansgrohe in 2017 and in his time with them he has won 25 races, as well as three green jerseys in the Tour de France.
However the emergence of Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, Egan Bernal and a crop of younger riders have seen Sagan’s future called into question.
Formolo suffers suspected fractured wrist after collision with wild boar
- Opinion: more must be done to protect sprinters
- AG2R Citroen should be a one-day force: What has gone wrong?
- Groupama-FDJ's Stewart out of Tour of Flanders with fractured hand
Sagan endured a bout of the coronavirus over the course of the winter, but he was able to win a stage of the Volta a Catalunya as he attempted something of a comeback.
Denk told Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger that Sagan’s time with the team, where he is said to earn between five and six million euros a year, could soon be up.
“Peter is entering the fall of his career,” Denk said. “The outcome of our conversations is open.
“We would like to make a decision in April but I don’t dare say which way things are going.
“We are very grateful for what Peter has meant to us. The sponsors have received a lot of attention thanks to him, but he will be entering the fall of his career.
“We also have to consider whether we still want to pay for that, or is it better to invest that money in youth?
“If Peter doesn’t stay, I have a lot of money available. The sponsors trust that I can put together the best possible team with the money.”
As well as Bernal, Van Aert and Van der Poel, Denk namechecked both Tadej Pogacar and Julian Alaphilippe in the top five of the sport, but does not believe he will move for them as: “I would be a bad team boss of I didn’t want one of these superstars in the team, but it has to fit.
'I feel great!' - Sagan after his stage win
“At the moment I don’t see any of these with us in the near future, because there are existing contracts or because of the philosophy there doesn’t fit.”
“Maybe we’ll create our own star,” he continued. ” That would be the cooler story. Maybe Lennard Kämna and Maximilian Schachmann are candidates for this role.
“They have already shown outstanding performances and they still have great potential. I will let myself be surprised.”
Tour de France
'I deserve it too' - Jakobsen reveals Cavendish set to be denied Tour chance
Tour de France
Pogacar plans to ride Tour de France and Vuelta in 2022