By Harvey Byrne
Nabil Bentaleb is close to securing a permanent switch away from Tottenham to Schalke after playing in his 20th Bundesliga game for the German side on Sunday.
Sky Sports reported on February 14 that the 22-year-old midfielder was on the verge of joining Markus Weinzierl’s side on a permanent basis with a clause in his loan deal set to activate a transfer if he plays in 20 league matches.
The midfielder met the requirements on Sunday as he started in the centre of the park alongside fellow former Spurs man Benjamin Stambouli in his team’s 1-1 draw with Cologne.
It is believed that the fee Schalke would still need to pay for the Algeria international would be around £16million, but after meeting the required matches it is assumed Schalke would have no qualms about paying it.
Bentaleb made the switch to Tottenham in the 2012 winter window from French side Dunkerque.
He became a prominent part of the team under Tim Sherwood before playing regularly in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge.
He was even handed a new five-year contract in the summer of 2015 taking him up to 2020, but in the following season he featured in just 11 matches in all competitions under Pochettino.
Bentaleb has now looked to rediscover his form in Germany after making a season-long loan switch in the summer and he has very much impressed with a return of five goals and five assists in 26 appearances in all competitions this season.
Football Insider verdict:
A clause like this is not beneficial to Tottenham, as if he was playing regularly for a club like Schalke then it is clear that he would have had to have raised his performances. Additionally, at 22, Bentaleb is still fairly young in football terms and still has a lot of room to grow and become the eventual player Spurs initially signed him in the hopes that he would become. However, given the strength in the midfield ranks in the Tottenham team he would have had to fight extremely hard for a place in the team once more. Plus £16million for a player signed on a free presents very good business for the north London club.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Spurs have jetted out to France on this transfer mission.