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It appears so, at least according to a report in La Gazzetta dello Sport, which cites unnamed sources stating that negotiations between the WorldTour team and the would-be suitor are advancing.
Officials from CCC Team, which is seeing its title sponsor exit at the end of 2020, were not immediately available to comment on the story.
According to the Italian paper, the Spanish foundation is continuing its hunt for an entry into the WorldTour following the high-profile collapse of merger talks with Mitchelton-Scott. That deal fell through following uncertainty about specifics of a preliminary agreement, and led to a management shakeup inside the Aussie-backed team. As part of the fallout, Mitchelton-Scott’s owner reconfirmed backing for the team through 2022.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Manuela officials have a firm offer on the table of 10 million euros to take over the team’s naming rights as well as its WorldTour license.
Last month, CCC Team manager Jim Ochowicz expressed confidence that a new sponsor would be secured, ideally before the August 29 start of the rescheduled Tour de France. Ochowicz said his riders have been told they are free to search for new deals during the sponsor hunt, and many of the marquee riders, including Greg Van Avermaet, have been linked to other teams, but so far, it appears most of the team is waiting on Ochowicz.
“Negotiations are ongoing with various potential sponsors,” Ochowicz said Thursday in a press statement. “As we have learned in the past, commenting on potential sponsorship opportunities can be detrimental to the process so at this stage, we will not be commenting further.”