Tour de France transfers: Zakarin tells Katusha he is leaving for another team

Ilnur Zakarin has told Katusha-Alpecin that he is leaving at the end of the season. The Russian has been heavily linked with a move to CCC Team for 2020.

"I think it's no secret that he's going to leave," Katusha-Alpecin General Manager Jose Azevedo told Cyclingnews.

"No contract was offered. I don't know where he goes, but he's taken the decision. We've talked and we don't have secrets. I know that he's not going to stay, but I don't know where he is going."

Zakarin has been with the team since moving through the ranks from the team's Itera-Katusha Continental team. Even if the 29-year-old had wanted to stay, he would have had to wait until the squad's future had been secured.

Azevedo cannot offer contracts beyond this year due to a shortfall in sponsorship. Alpecin and bike supplier Canyon are set to depart at the end of the season, while the squad is rumoured to be in a merger negotiation with Israel Cycling Academy.

Azevedo would not comment on the speculation surrounding the future of the team, but earlier in the month he denied that the team was set to fold. There are still riders contracted for 2020, and the team's management continues to search for financial backing. It was reported last week that team owner Igor Makarov was willing to partially fund the team for a year to secure their future.

"There's no news. We can say that in the meetings that things are going in a good way, but with the negotiations we can't say more than this. I don't want to confirm any of the rumours, but what I can say is that some possibilities exist and that some people are working on it," Azevedo said.

"For the moment we don't put a time limit on it. In Brussels, I only said that I hoped to have news by the first day. We've seen some progress, but we need to be positive. The priority at the moment is not negotiating with riders, it's about finding a solution for the team to continue."

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