The agent of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb insists the club are not open to selling the midfielder in January but left the door open for a move in the summer. Bentaleb, 21, was one half of Mauricio Pochettino's first-choice midfield alongside Ryan Mason last season but his 2015-16 campaign has been curtailed by injury.
The youngster made his return in the 4-1 victory over Monaco in November but has slid down the pecking order at White Hart Lane, featuring just once off the bench since his return. Behind Eric Dier and now Tom Carroll in the pecking order, Bentaleb's lack of games led Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport to suggest he could be used in a deal to bring Stevan Jovetic to to White Hart Lane, with the club open to making reinforcements in attack.
But speaking to FCinter.it, an agent claiming to represent the player said: "This news to me, something completely new. I know nothing of Inter and I have never heard from anyone, and I don't believe the leaders at Tottenham have spoken to Inter. I think these are rumours spread by Algerian journalists."
The agent was less reassuring over his client's long-term future at the club, however. "In January, no, what I know is that Spurs do not want to sell. Then everything is possible, anything can happen in the summer."
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Wednesday's FA Cup third round replay against Leicester City, Pochettino rubbished claims there has been a falling out between him and the player, insisting he will get his chances to win back a first-team role.
"From the beginning [of the season] he had a [injury] problem," Pochettino explained. "He missed 17 or 18 games with injury and the team has grown up. Different players have had the chance to play and show their quality, like Eric Dier or Mousa Dembele or Tom Carroll. We have a lot of players in midfield.
"But we keep a very good relationship between Nabil and us and, if he works like he has done in the last few weeks, he will always have the facility to play and show his real qualities. I think it's only about time to show again that he deserves to play. It's always about football decisions and performance."