Nabil Bentaleb has already signalled his intention to sign a permanent deal at Newcastle United when his loan ends – saying he’s planning a ‘long-term’ stay at St James’ Park.
The agent of Valentino Lazaro has suggested today that his ‘first choice’ is to return to Inter this summer and prove himself in Italy, but Bentaleb’s comments are quite the opposite.
He’s clearly keen to end his spell in Germany with Schalke and already has his eye on earning a permanent deal at St James’ Park – something we can make a reality for £8.5m this summer.
Here’s what he’s had to say during a chat with the Chronicle after his debut on Saturday:
“I want to be here next season, for the long term, not just this season
“I feel like I have the same ambitions as the club, and I want to be part of this club.”
This is promising to hear – especially when a permanent move for Jetro Willems is in doubt through injury and Valentino Lazaro may opt to fight for his place at Inter should he impress.
The 25-year-old then opened up about his difficult few months at Schalke, revealing why he ‘knew his decision straight away’ when he got the ball to sign for Newcastle until the end of the season:
“It was tough.
“Every footballer loves playing, and unfortunately, I’ve not been playing football.
“It was a learning curve for me, and in that situation, you have to try to make something positive about it.”
“I took this time out to spend time with my family and improve my game, watching a lot of games, a lot of my games to see what I could do better, ensure I stayed fit, I wanted to make sure I was ready for when I came back because I knew it wouldn’t last forever.
“When I got chance to come here, I felt in my mind I was ready.
“It was very clear for me, I knew my decision straight away.”
He had a mixed debut on Saturday, but did show moments of quality and did well to last 80 minutes considering he’d not played a senior game since last April after being banished to Schalke’s reserves.
With him keen to sign and an option to buy of just £8.5m existing in the loan deal, it looks like the Algerian almost certainly sign permanently should he impress.