Nabil Bentaleb makes Tottenham Hotspur transfer move for Leon Goretzka a lot tougher

Football Soccer - FC Schalke 04 v FC Krasnodar - Europa League

Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of signing Leon Goretzka could be impacted by none other than Nabil Bentaleb.

Leon Goretzka - GemanyLeon Goretzka - Gemany

According to Calciomercato, Tottenham Hotspur are pushing to try and sign Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.

Goretzka is just 22 and has been capped for Germany's senior side already, a big achievement considering the competition for places.

Likened to a young Michael Ballack, Goretzka fits the profile of player Tottenham should be targeting, but they may inadvertently have made his signature more difficult.

That is because of the partnership Goretzka has struck up in midfield with Nabil Bentaleb this season, the player Tottenham loaned to Schalke and then agreed to sell permanently earlier in 2017.

Soccer Football -  Borussia Moenchengladbach v Schalke 04 - UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second LegSoccer Football - Borussia Moenchengladbach v Schalke 04 - UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg

The duo have been particularly effective since the winter break, with their partnership hailed as one Schalke must build around.

German news outlet Westline.de published an editorial last month on the very topic, writing: "A big part of this [Schalke's success] is played by two midfielders who can make the difference.

"Both players complement each other very well in central midfield. While Goretzka runs and shoots, Bentaleb manages to open the gap with his calmness, to create, to exploit the smallest gaps in the opponents' midfield.

"This is why it must be a priority for Schalke 04 to tie this congenial duo for the long term."

Providing Schalke remain similarly convinced, selling Goretzka would make even less sense now than it would have done a year ago.

Tottenham's finances and ability to offer Champions League football could still sway a deal, but the fact they have put Bentaleb there alongside him will make it tougher to prise him away.

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