The Algeria international Nabil Bentaleb had a medical at Newcastle United on Monday afternoon ahead of a loan move from Schalke until the end of the season.
Bentaleb is surplus to the requirements of Schalke’s manager, David Wagner, and the 25-year-old former Tottenham midfielder is keen to return to England. Bentaleb swapped Spurs for the Bundesliga in February 2017 but has not featured for Schalke since March 2019 when, due to disciplinary issues, he was removed from the first-team squad.
Steve Bruce hopes Bentaleb will allay longstanding fears about an alleged attitude problem during the next few months after joining a Newcastle side in need of reinforcement in central midfield. Meanwhile Bruce hopes to announce the signing of the Austria winger Valentino Lazaro from Internazionale, also on loan, within the next 24 to 48 hours.
In less positive news at St James’ Park, Newcastle – who travel to Everton on Tuesday night – will be without Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett for the remainder of the season. Willems, the 25-year-old Netherlands left wing-back on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, sustained his second cruciate ligament rupture in three years during the 1-0 Premier League win against Chelsea on Saturday and is expected to return to Germany for surgery.
Dummett, who can play at either left wing‑back or in central defence, has a tendon injury which may also require an operation and has left Bruce seeking left-sided defensive cover before the transfer window’s closure.