Everton are interested in a January deal for FC Schalke 04 midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, according to Foot Mercato.
The Algerian has not featured in Die Konigsblauen’s first-team under former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner at all this season, and could be offered a route out of the Veltins Arena by three Premier League sides.
Crystal Palace and one unnamed outfit are said to have shown an interest in signing Bentaleb alongside Everton, though it is the Eagles who currently lead the race.
French Ligue 1 giant Olympique Lyonnais are also on the scene as to Bentaleb’s availability, but will not be stepping up their pursuit just yet as Les Gones are prioritising offensive reinforcements to Rudi Garcia’s squad.
If Palace do not fulfil their current position and Bentaleb remains on the market, it is expected that Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands ‘could move’ for the 35-cap Algerian by the end of the winter market.
Bentaleb is impatiently waiting for his future to be resolved having been cast into the wilderness at Schalke this season, and faces an impossible task to renter the fold at the Veltins Arena.
Would you welcome Bentaleb to Goodison Park?
Prior reports on Bentaleb’s future had suggested Schalke offered his services out to a host of Premier League clubs including Everton, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Palace were said to have shown no interest in making a move for the £4.5m-rated midfielder, though that now appears to have changed with Foot Mercato claiming the Eagles lead the race among the three interested English sides.
Our stance, or that of Villa, was not claimed in the prior reports, which noted that Schalke have not considered Bentaleb to be a key part of their squad following unprofessional behaviour, such as failing to report for German lessons.
Bentaleb is under contract at the Veltins Arena until the summer of 2021, and has not represented his country since October 2018.
In other Everton news, the club have reportedly made a formal bid to sign a 41-cap midfielder this month.