Report: Tottenham’s Nabil Bentaleb on Barcelona shortlist rejected by Luis Enrique

The 20-year-old signed a new five-year deal with Spurs last week.

The announcement of Nabil Bentaleb’s new deal last week was met with widespread excitement and relief among Spurs fans, yet things could have been very different had Barcelona shored up their interest in him.

Catalan newspaper Sport claims that Barca boss Luis Enrique was handed a shortlist of players by the club’s international sporting director Ariedo Braida, and Bentaleb was among those featured.

Other targets listed in the report include Southampton’s new signing Cedric Soares and Spurs-linked Fernando Llorente.

Luis Enrique is believed to have a frosty relationship with Braida and has decided to go it alone this summer, as far as identifying transfer targets goes, and promptly rejected the suggested names.

How substantial Barcelona’s interest in the young Algerian was is hard to say, but the fact that he is even being linked to the game’s elite clubs is a measure of the progress he has made.

Bentaleb was known only to the keenest followers of youth team football 18 months ago, but is now established in the Premier League and regarded as one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe.

Spurs will be delighted to have his future secured, but clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid are likely to come sniffing around again in the near future should the midfielder continue progressing at his current rate.

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