VALVERDE AGREES NEW DEAL WITH CAISSE D’EPARGNE

Alejandro Valverde portrait 2

Spain?s Alejandro Valverde has opted to stay with Caisse d?Epargne after the team offered him a four year deal worth of a total of £6 million.

Valverde had been tempted by T-Mobile?s higher offer of a three-year deal worth £2 million a year but after Caisse d?Epargne came close to matching the T-Mobile offer, he decided to stay in Spain with the team that helped him win the ProTour title in 2006.

According to reports in the Spanish AS newspaper on Saturday, the deal was sealed when Caisse d?Epargne team manager Eusebio Unzue told Valverde?s agent Francisco Sanchez Sabater that the team are willing to pay the amount requested in a meeting last Monday. It is not clear where the Spanish team will find the cash but are clearly desperate to hang on to one of the biggest names in the sport.

Valverde?s current contract worth £1 million a year last until the end of 2007 but this will replaced by the new deal that will make him the best paid rider in the cycling. Valverde will now take part in the official Caisse d?Epargne team presentation in Paris on Tuesday, where the final details of the deal will be thrashed out.

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