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Unwanted Spurs midfielder rubbishes links to Benfica, prefers England stay

Nabil Bentaleb wants to stay in England, according to his agent.

Malaysia XI v Tottenham Hotspur Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Nabil Bentaleb won’t be a Tottenham Hotspur for much longer, but it’s not at all clear yet where he’ll be playing his football next season. Previously linked with a loan to Liga NOS champions Benfica, the Portuguese paper Record have now quashed that, saying Bentaleb’s agent has said that his client prefers to stay in England.

That’s probably just as well. Despite losing Renato Sanches, Benfica is still pretty stacked at central midfield and it might be tricky for Nabil to get minutes there for a Champions League club. But where will he go?

There aren’t any firm sources, but there’s plenty of speculation. Extremely tenuous social media reports suggest that he could be a target for Middlesbrough, and the newly-promoted side would probably be a good fit. Boro’s central midfield currently consists of Adam Clayton, a player with no Premier League experience, and Grant Leadbitter, who hasn’t been in the EPL since leaving Sunderland in 2009.

The Independent says that Spurs are asking for a fee of £10m for Bentaleb. They suggest this could scare off potential Premier League suitors, which seems odd in a year where Andros Townsend can go to Crystal Palace for £13m. If a sale can’t be negotiated, it seems logical that Bentaleb would head out on loan.