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Contador to sign for Trek-Segafredo on Tour de France rest day

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) survives another flat stage

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) survives another flat stage

Alberto Contador is set to sign for Trek-Segafredo on the first rest-day of the Tour de France on Monday, Cyclingnews understands. 

Negotiations have been taking place in recent weeks and, according to sources close to the team, a deal for next season is to be finalised over the course of the rest day and the Spaniard is expected to put pen to paper by Monday evening. 

Cyclingnews put this to Contador at the start of stage 8 on Saturday morning, with the Tinkoff rider cracking a big and telling smile before saying: "I don't know." Signings cannot be made official until the UCI's transfer window opens on August 1 and, though deals are being struck, riders and teams must maintain silence until then.

33-year-old Contador, who was scheduled to retire at the end of the 2016 season before revising his plans, has been on the hunt for a new team, with Tinkoff set to fold at the end of this season as Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, the team's owner, withdraws his investment in the sport. The seven-time Grand Tour winner was first linked to Trek back in May, with Lampre-Merida also showing interest.

Cyclingnews understands that the key negotiations took place in the aftermath of the Critérium du Dauphiné last month, where the Trek-Segafredo management sat down with Contador and his representatives, namely his brother and agent Fran Contador. Contador has said recently that, whichever team he signs for, he would like a two-year contract, keeping him in the peloton through to the end of 2018 , though one option discussed with Trek was a one-year deal with an option for a second. 

The deal is likely to see Contador bring a number of personnel, including riders and staff, with him from Tinkoff as Trek prepare to bolster their Grand Tour credentials. Bauke Mollema has given the American team top tens at the Tour de France, while 2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal is a secondary leader, but they have been on the hunt for a marquee GC name and, after talks with Astana's Vincenzo Nibali went cold earlier in the year, Contador is set to be it. 

Contador has endured a difficult start to the Tour de France, crashing twice on the opening two stages and consequently suffering to the extent that he already finds himself 1:21 down on reigning champion Chris Froome and the other GC favourites.