By Will Butcher
Out-of-favour Tottenham star Nabil Bentaleb wants to stay in England after being told he can find a new club, according to his agent.
Portuguese sports newspaper Record reported on Monday that champions Benfica were keen to bring the Algeria international on-loan to the Estadio da Luz.
However, Record claim that Bentaleb’s agent Majid Yebda has told them that he doesn’t want to leave England, with Premier League new-boys Middlesbrough interested.
Spurs seem unlikely to let Bentaleb leave on loan though after The Independent reported that chairman Daniel Levy demanded interested clubs shell out £10million to acquire his services.
The 21-year-old was told he can leave just 12 months after the centre-midfielder signed a new five-year deal, which tied him to White Hart Lane until 2020.
A well-placed Tottenham source has told Football Insider that Bentaleb, wingers Nacer Chadli and Clinton N’Jie, playmaker Alex Pritchard, central midfielder Tom Carroll, defender Federico Fazio and goalkeeper Michael Vorm are all surplus to requirements under Pochettino in the upcoming season.
Bentaleb is currently behind the likes of Eric Dier, Ryan Mason, Moussa Dembele and Tom Carroll, and with the arrival of combative Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama, he is unlikely to feature much for Spurs this season.
The former Lille trainee, who represented France at youth level before opting to play for Algeria, was on the fringes last season and missed three months with an ankle injury suffered in August.
He was also absent for the title run-in with knee ligament damage. In total, he made just five Premier league appearances.
In other Tottenham news, this midfielder has finally put pen to paper over a new contract, after a stand-off in talks.