By Tom Blackburn
Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bantaleb is close to joining Schalke on a loan-to-buy deal, according to a report.
French newspaper L’Equipe claim Spurs agreed the terms of the transfer with the Bundesliga club following a breakthrough in talks on Tuesday.
It is said that Bentaleb has yet to agree terms with Schalke but the deal is progressing well and is expected to be finalised.
The Mirror claimed on Saturday that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had rejected a £10million offer from the Bundesliga giants even though Bentaleb is out of the first-team picture at White Hart Lane.
It was said that the London giants were holding out for a fee of £15million for Bentaleb, but it now appears that Levy has accepted a loan move.
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he has told the 21-year-old Algerian international there is no place for him after the arrival of Victor Wanyama and the emergence of England stars Eric Dier and Dele Alli.
That alerted Schalke who are seeking midfield reinforcements after selling German international Leroy Sane to Manchester City and losing last season’s loanee Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to Southampton.
Football Insider revealed in July that manager Mauricio Pochettino was ready to sanction the sales of Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Clinton N’Jie, Alex Pritchard, Tom Carroll, Federico Fazio and Michael Vorm.
Bentaleb made just five Spurs starts in an injury-hit campaign last season after falling behind Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Ryan Mason even when fit. He was not played for the club since February.
Pochettino has subsequently signed Wanyama from former club Southampton to increase the competition for central midfield spots even further and one of the shining lights of the 2014-15 campaign is now set to head out of White Hart Lane.
The Algerian midfielder failed to make the match day squad in Tottenham’s season opener against Everton, with youngsters Cameron Carter-Vickers, Joshua Onomah and Harry Winks in the side ahead of him.
He was also omitted from the squad for the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Bentaleb signed a new five-year deal last July on vastly improved terms and is said to earn more than Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who both had outstanding seasons and were named in the PFA Team of the Year.
In other Tottenham transfer news, they eye an emerging Ligue 1 star while Arsenal are also interested.