London (AFP) – Newcastle have signed Algeria midfielder Nabil Bentaleb on loan from Schalke for the rest of the season, the club announced on Tuesday.
Newcastle have negotiated an option to make the move permanent at the end of the season for a fee reported to be around £8.5 million ($11 million).
The 25-year-old has not played for the Bundesliga club this season after being dropped from the first-team squad due to disciplinary issues.
A knee injury has also hampered his chances but Newcastle manager Steve Bruce believes the former Tottenham youngster will be revitalised by a return to the Premier League.
“He’s somebody who I paid particular attention to when he was at Spurs, when he broke through and got a big-money move to Germany,” Bruce said.
“He’s played at the highest level now for the last four or five years, but he will come in hungry and feeling he has something to prove and will give us the competition we obviously need.”
“The fact that he’s played in the Premier League before helps because we know that he can play and knows what the demands of the Premier League are,” he added.
Bentaleb’s arrival at Newcastle is well-timed for Bruce, who has seen his team hit by a series of injuries to key players.
“I’m very happy to come back to the Premier League, especially with a club such as Newcastle,” Bentaleb said.
“The project really interested me. The coach had some trust in me and the club also. I think it’s the perfect move for me.”