According to the Mirror, Nabil Bentaleb finally has a serious suitor. The English daily is reporting that Schalke is interested in bringing the Spurs midfielder to Germany, but that Tottenham rejected a bid of £10m as it was significantly under their £15m valuation of the Algerian international. The Mirror says that Schalke are considering Bentaleb as a replacement for Leroy Sane, who was sold to Manchester City earlier in the window.
So first, let’s get this out of the way: it’s the Mirror. I can’t find any corroborating sources yet in any of the notable German papers that cover Schalke, so naturally you’d be wise to take this with an entire salt mine. The article itself is typical for the Mirror: no sources, no quotes, nothing really to confirm that this isn’t just a fever dream from the minds of an intern at the Mirror.
That said, I’m of two minds about this. My immediate reaction was to shout “TAKE THE MONEY” at my computer monitor. Bentaleb is not in Spurs’ plans, and everyone knows it now. He lost his #6 number this summer, returning to his original #42, and he’s training with Spurs’ U21s. Mauricio Pochettino has said in no uncertain terms in press conferences that he’s not in his plans and is free to look for another club. £10m for a player who you developed in your academy and who isn’t good enough for your side feels pretty good to me.
On the other hand, this is Daniel Levy we’re talking about here. In this incredible post-TV deal world where Andros Townsend can be sold to Palace for £15m, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Levy might be holding out for a better offer. If you look at £10m as an opening salvo, if Schalke really does rate Bentaleb it’s not inconceivable that they could come back with an improved offer. £12-13m for Bentaleb feels like crazy good money, and he’d be in a league where he most likely won’t come back to haunt Spurs.
I don’t hate Bentaleb, and I hope he’s able to find a club where he can succeed and have a good career. I’m fine if that club is Schalke. I’m even more fine if that club is Schalke and they agree to pay us £12m. This is Silly Season and it’s a dumb source, but I wouldn’t mind if this turns out to be true.