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Lotto-Soudal deny Campenaerts will be shifted for Gilbert and Degenkolb

Joe Robinson
1 Jul 2019

Team state contract negotiations are ongoing as Gilbert and Degenkolb linked with moves

Reports in Belgium have suggested that Lotto-Soudal may release Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts in order to bring in Monument winning duo Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb.

Newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reported that Lotto-Soudal had offered Campenaerts a new contract but the rider had initially turned the deal in order to stay open to offers from other teams.

It is then believed that Lotto-Soudal approached Campenaerts with a second offer that was less than the first after the team had put away a certain proportion of their budget to secure the signings of Gilbert and Degenkolb.

Het Nieuwsblad then suggested that Campenaerts turned down the offer and will now look for a new team.

In response to the reports, Lotto-Soudal then took to Twitter to deny the rumours and state that contract negotiations are still ongoing.

The team wrote: 'Contrary to what was published in certain media today, the contract negotiations with @VCampenaerts are still ongoing. There have been several talks with Victor – one of which last Saturday – to discuss the options for the future.

'At the moment, an agreement was not yet reached, but the option of an extended stay is still there.'

While the Campenaerts situation seems to be unclear, one thing that is clear is that the Belgian team are in the market for new Classics talent.

Highly rated home rider Tiesj Benoot will be leaving at the end of the season creating a space for a like-for-like replacement.

Gilbert is said to be on the hunt for a new team, potentially ending his three-year stint with Deceuninck-Quickstep. The rumours were furthered when the Paris-Roubaix winner was left out of the team's Tour de France squad, too.

Milan-San Remo and Roubaix winner Degenkolb is also an option for the Belgian outfit. The German sprinter was also overlooked for the Tour by his Trek-Segafredo team and it is believed he is after a change of scenery for 2020.

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