Tottenham Hotspur’s manager Mauricio Pochettino has reached the decision that Nabil Bentaleb, Federico Fazio and Alex Pritchard have no future at the club, according to ESPN FC.
After omitting the trio from the squad of players which he currently has with him in Australia to play games against Atletico Madrid and Juventus, Pochettino unequivocally declared that they do not feature in his plans for the forthcoming season.
“The situation of Bentaleb, Fazio and Pritchard is clear. They are not in my plans,” said Pochettino, who watched his side lose 2-1 to Juventus yesterday – 26 July – at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
After making 35 appearances for Spurs in all competitions during the 2014-15 campaign under Pochettino, Bentaleb’s prospects of establishing himself as a long-term regular in the club’s first team appeared to be healthy. However due to a lack of both fitness and form, the 21-year-old made just eleven appearances last season, as he fell out of favour with Pochettino.
Subsequently whilst Bentaleb’s ambition is believed to be continuing to play in England‘s top flight, fulfilling that may prove difficult, since Spurs’ preference is understood to be selling the Algerian internationalist for no less than £10m, which is a fee that fellow Premier League clubs are unlikely to be willing to pay. However according to talkSPORT are weighing up a move for Bentaleb.
Nevertheless in the event Spurs are unable to sell Bentaleb this summer, they may opt to allow him to go out on loan, in the hope that he performs well and increases his value as a result of that. The Algerian internationalist has 19 caps for his country and earned three of those by playing in each of Les Fennecs group games at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Just as Bentaleb enjoyed an excellent 2014-15 season, so too did Alex Pritchard whilst on loan at Brentford, as he scored 12 goals in 45 Championship appearances to earn a place in the England squad for the UEFA U-21 European Championships.
Subsequently however the 23-year-old’s development has been hampered by injuries as he endured disappointing loan spell with West Bromwich Albion last season.
Despite that several clubs including Newcastle United, Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers, are understood as being interested in Pritchard but may be averse to paying the £9m which Spurs would like to sell him for.
Whether they would be receptive to offers of less than that amount for Pritchard is uncertain, although Swansea may be readying an £8m bid for the midfielder, who made his Spurs debut on the last day of the 2013-14 season against Aston Villa but has made just one further appearance for the club since
Relative to Spurs’ valuation of Fazio, that is not thought to be as high as that of either Bentaleb or Pritchard, with the club thought to be looking to recoup as much as possible of the £8m which they paid Sevilla for the 29-year-old centre half.
An Argentinean internationalist, Fazio has been capped three times at senior level, whilst he was a member of the Argentina sides which won both the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007 and the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing.
At present La Liga side Espanyol are believed to be leading the race to sign Fazio who was sent off on his Premier League debut for Spurs, which ended in a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on 18 October 2014.
Future destinations of trio remain unknown
Therefore whilst Pochettino is intent on clearing Bentaleb, Fazio and Pritchard out of his squad this summer, the transfer fees which Spurs are reportedly demanding for the trio, may prevent him from doing so.
Given that the future destination of each of the three players is unclear but they will almost certainly not play any role for Tottenham so long as Pochettino remains the club’s manager.
The 44-year-old former Southampton boss recently ruled himself out of the running to fulfil Argentina’s vacant managerial position, choosing instead to pledge his future to Tottenham, with whom he signed a five-year-contract in May, reported to be worth in the region of £5.5m, plus bonuses, per year.