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Landa set to replace Nibali as Bahrain-Merida leader

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Mikel Landa (Movistar)

Mikel Landa (Movistar)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mikel Landa at the start

Mikel Landa at the start
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mikel Landa (Movistar) on the Coppi e Bartali podium after winning stage 2

Mikel Landa (Movistar) on the Coppi e Bartali podium after winning stage 2
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas of Great Britain and Team Sky (R) talks to Sky Procycling coach Rod Ellingworth ahead of stage during stage three of the 2013 Tour de France

Geraint Thomas of Great Britain and Team Sky (R) talks to Sky Procycling coach Rod Ellingworth ahead of stage during stage three of the 2013 Tour de France

Mikel Landa is set to replace Vincenzo Nibali as the Grand Tour leader at Bahrain-Merida as the WorldTour team undergoes a major shake-up for 2020.

Cyclingnews has been told that Landa – currently at Movistar – agreed a two-year deal several months ago, as Bahrain-Merida looked to secure a new team leader in case contract negotiations with Nibali failed. Nibali has grown more determined to leave Bahrain-Merida in recent months after receiving a serious proposal from Trek-Segafredo. Negotiations with Bahrain-Merida reached deadlock in March after the Italian demanded a two-year deal on roughly the same salary as his current contract.

Bahrain-Merida have been interested in Landa for some time, and although they don’t see him as a like-for-like replacement for Nibali, they hope that the Spaniard can rediscover his best form in three-week stage races.

As Cyclingnews reported last week, Rod Ellingworth will move from Team Sky to Bahrain-Merida and join the team as part of its senior management next season.

Nibali is expected to take his entourage with him to Trek-Segafredo, including his brother Antonio, coach Paolo Slongo and doctor Emilio Magni.

Landa's contract with Movistar ends this season, and he was being courted by Astana. However, his move to Bahrain-Merida will likely spark a merry-go-round of Grand-Tour-leader transfers.