Cyclingnews has learned that Ion Izagirre is on the verge of breaking his contract with Movistar in order to move to Bahrain Merida on a two-year deal. The 27-year-old has one year remaining on his deal with the Spanish team but sources have told us that he is set to leave Nairo Quintana and link up with Vincenzo Nibali’s new team as it fights to secure as many WorldTour points as possible.
Cyclingnews first heard that Izagirre was looking to orchestrate a move away from Movistar during the Tour of Britain. A winner of stages in the Giro d’Italia, this year’s Tour de France and last season's Tour of Poland overall winner, Izagirre has collected 250 WorldTour points and lies 11th in the latest UCI standings. This appears to have been crucial to his future. With three teams - Bahrain, the new version of Lampre Merida and Dimension Data – all vying for the two final WorldTour spots in 2017, Izagirre’s signature became highly sought after.
Bahrain Merida’s management could not be reached at this time, while Izagirre’s agent Giuseppe Acquadro would not confirm or deny the move.
Cyclingnews has also been told that Igor Anton is set move to the Bahrain Merida team next year. The Spaniard is out of contract at Dimension Data and moves across to join Nibali and Izagirre.