Transfer on the cards: £16.3m Bundesliga ace in line to be at Tottenham next season - report
By Harry Sykes
Nabil Bentaleb could move back to Tottenham next season after growing concerned at Schalke’s poor form, according to a report.
German news outlet Spox claim there is a growing possibility that the central midfielder will head back to north London when his season-long loan in the Bundesliga expires.
It is said that Bentaleb might reject the option of a permanent move to Schalke due to the Gelsenkirchen side’s mediocre campaign.
The Algeria international, 22, joined Schalke on a loan-to-buy transfer last summer, with the deal including the option for the former Champions League club to sign him for £16.3m at the end of this campaign.
Spox report there is a “question mark” about Bentaleb remaining as it is “questionable” whether he will choose to be at the 12th-placed Bundesliga club in 2017-18.
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Bentaleb graduated from the Tottenham academy ranks to establish himself under ex-manager Tim Sherwood and he was also a regular in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season as manager.
But the Algerian slipped down the pecking order last season as Eric Dier was preferred as Moussa Dembele’s regular central midfield partner.
With Pochettino publicly questioning the youngster’s attitude and work-rate, he appeared to have played the last of his 66 matches for Spurs.
Bentaleb has been a regular for Schalke the season and has thrived in a more advanced role that has paid dividends.
The midfielder has scored five goals and supplied two assists from 23 matches for the German club this season, with four of his goals coming in the Bundesliga.
It remains to be seen whether Pochettino would welcome the return of Pochettino, with competition for places now even more intense.
Victor Wanyama has established himself as a fulcrum of the side in midfield alongside Dembele this season, which means Dier has had to take a step back to play predominantly in defence.
In other Tottenham news, Daniel Levy has lined up the next Spurs arrival as the deal is all but done.