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Britain’s richest man expected to step in to save Team Sky

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Chris Froome

Team Sky are “likely” to announce a new main sponsor ahead of the Giro d’Italia, according to sports director Matteo Tosatto.

Talking to Marca, the Italian confirmed that a new sponsorship deal will be in place by May and is likely to be announced ahead of the Giro.

“Before the Giro, we should have an agreement [with a new sponsor] that will ensure the safety of the team,” he said. “It was only going to be finalised ahead of the Tour, but we are likely to announce it before the Corsa Rosa. It will be European, from home – de casa,”

Dave Brailsford has reportedly met with Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, about the possibility of his providing financial backing to Team Sky.

Ratcliffe, the chairman of the Ineos chemicals group, has a net worth of £21billion. He attracted criticism last year when it emerged he was moving to the tax haven of Monaco two months after being knighted.

Rumours also suggested that a merger with pro-continental team Israel Cycling Academy could be on the cards, as billionaire Sylvan Adams hopes to take his team to the Tour de France by 2020.