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Tottenham close to loan deal with Schalke for want-away midfielder

Nabil Bentaleb has a foot out the door now and looks likely to head to Germany on loan.

Leicester City U21 v Tottenham Hotspur U21: Barclays U21 Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Holy Tottenham Hotspur transfer related news dump, Batman! The latest story comes from L’Equipe, which writes that Tottenham and Schalke are close to an agreement that would send Nabil Bentaleb to the Bundesliga on a season long loan with an option to buy.

This appears to be the next step in negotiations between Schalke and Spurs over Bentaleb; a few days ago there were reports suggesting that Spurs had rejected a £10m purchase offer from the German club. The report says that personal terms haven’t been agreed, but the clubs are good with the loan.

But why, you ask, is this being reported in a French newspaper? Well, supposedly Schalke was also working on a deal for former Tottenham midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, currently at PSG. L’Equipe thinks that if the Bentaleb loan goes through, that’s probably the end of the Stambouli negotiations.

We also got a bit more detail about how relations between Bentaleb and Spurs got to the point where they are now. The Hertfordshire Mercury had quotes from Mauricio Pochettino that I’d never seen up until now, outright saying that Nabil Bentaleb issued Pochettino an ultimatum: play me more, or I’m leaving. Guess what Poche said?

"Yes, he is training with the U21s. He is not with the first team, because he wanted to leave," admitted Pochettino. "If he wanted to leave, he can come and see me, I say 'ok you can leave', and he is waiting to try to find a place away from Tottenham.

"But there is nothing to do. We share the changing room and the restaurants all together, it is not a problem."

I don’t have any idea whether Bentaleb will be a good fit at Schalke or not, but I do know he’d have a major job ahead of him to fill the Leroy Sane-sized hole in Schalke’s midfield. Again, this is all unconfirmed, but it looks like a perfectly reasonable story to my eyes.