Schalke 04 have signed Tottenham Hotspur outcast Nabil Bentaleb on loan. The Algerian international does not feature in Mauricio Pochettino's first-team plans at White Hart Lane and was one of three players told they were free to leave the club earlier this summer.
And while Alex Pritchard and Federico Fazio have since departed for Norwich City and AS Roma respectively, recent reports from The Mail suggested that Schalke had made an offer to take Bentaleb on a season-long loan with the view to completing a £17m ($22.4m) permanent transfer next year.
Addressing those rumours during a press conference held on Thursday morning (25 August), sporting director Christian Heidel revealed: "We have an agreement with Tottenham. We expect him to participate in training this afternoon. We are just waiting to sort the final paperwork to confirm the deal.
"Bentaleb is 100% fit, but we need to be patient and give him a little time to integrate into the team... Bentaleb passed his medical with us last Thursday and then returned to Tottenham."
Bentaleb, who put pen to paper on a new five-year contract last summer, featured prominently alongside fellow academy graduate Ryan Mason during Pochettino's first season at the helm, but gradually fell out of favour and managed just five Premier League appearances last term due to a succession of injuries. He underwent knee surgery in March that ruled him out for the final two months of the 2015/16 campaign and was later omitted from the pre-season tour squad that travelled to Australia for International Champions Cup matches against Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
Spurs have now confirmed the deal, tweeting: "Confirmed: Nabil Bentaleb has joined Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 on loan until the end of the 2016-17 season."
Another Tottenham player facing a seemingly uncertain future is Heung-Min Son. The 24-year-old forward hardly set the world alight during his debut season in English football following a £22m-switch from Bayer Leverkusen. Having now returned from international duty with South Korea at the Rio Olympic Games, he is being linked to a return to Germany amid reported interest from the likes of Wolfsburg. Heidel, however, claims that Schalke are not pursuing any deal.
"Heung Min-Son is an excellent footballer," he added. "We know him from his time at Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen, but he has nothing to do with us."
Ex-Spurs midfielder Benjamin Stambouli has also undergone a medical at Schalke, ahead of a move from Paris Saint-Germain, and manager Markus Weinzierl stressed that "our new recruits know each other from their time together at Tottenham and that "they will good additions to the team".
Die Knappen, fifth-place finishers last term, beat a number of top suitors to a deal for highly-rated Swiss forward Breel Embolo earlier in the window and have also recruited experienced defender Naldo, Sevilla captain Coke and Chelsea left-back Baba Rahman. Leroy Sane left for Pep Guardiola's Manchester City earlier this month for a cool fee of £37m.