The 19-cap Algerian international was on the cusp of establishing himself as a key member of the Spurs starting line-up two years ago but suffered a serious injury last season and is now behind the likes of Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele, Dele Alli, Ryan Mason and new signing Victor Wanyama in the pecking order.
The 21-year-old was not included in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad for Spurs’ pre-season tour of Australia and the Argentine gaffer revealed earlier this week that Bentaleb is not a part of his first-team plans for the 2016/17 campaign.
Record recently revealed that Primeira Liga champions Benfica are interested in signing the deep-lying midfielder on a season-long loan, following Renato Sanches’ move to Bayern Munich.
But the Portuguese publication now claim they’ve been informed by Bentaleb’s agent that he wants to continue his career in England, leading them to moot newly promoted Middlesbrough as potential summer suitors.
It’s assumed Aitor Karanka’s side are interested in signing Bentaleb in a permanent transfer, although that’s not expressed explicitly by Record.