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Leagues: Bundesliga

Schalke swoop for Bentaleb and Stambouli

Berlin (AFP) – Schalke 04 strengthened their squad for the new German Bundesliga season on Thursday by confirming the loan signing of Algerian international Nabil Bentaleb and closing in on the capture of French midfielder Benjamin Stambouli.

Schalke, who finished fifth in Germany’s top flight last season to qualify for the Europa League, have signed Bentaleb from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long loan for a fee of around one million euros.

Meanwhile, Stambouli will join from Paris Saint-Germain and is set to cost the Royal Blues 8.5 million euros ($9.5m, £7.3m), according to German media.

“We’re very happy that Nabil Bentaleb has decided to join us, we’ve been working on this transfer for six weeks,” said Schalke’s sporting director Christian Heidel.

“Everything is signed from our side and he will train with us this afternoon.

“He is an aggressive midfielder who gives us another option.”

Schalke have the option of buying the 21-year-old holding midfielder, born in France, once his loan deal expires. 

Bentaleb has won 19 caps for Algeria and played in all three of their group-stage matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when they lost to eventual winners Germany in the last 16.

Bentaleb was a regular in the Spurs side in the 2014/15 season, but only made five Premier League appearances last season.

Like Bentaleb, Stambouli, 26, is a defensive-minded midfielder. The former France under-21 international has signed on a four-year deal after just a season at PSG.

Stambouli started his career at Montpellier and won the French title with them in 2012 before later spending a season at Tottenham, alongside Bentaleb, in 2014/15.

“Everything is settled with Paris,” said Heidel.

“We must await the results (of the medical examination), but we are optimistic that everything will work out.”

Schalke host Eintracht Frankfurt in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday as the 2016/17 Bundesliga season kicks off.

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