Nabil Bentaleb breaks silence on Schalke 04 axe, criticism and 'borderline racists'

Nabil Bentaleb has broken his silence after being axed from Schalke 04’s first-team squad.

Bentaleb – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle United – was last month told to train away from the main group at the Bundesliga club, which is without a win in 25 games.

Steve Bruce opted not to make Bentaleb’s move to the club permanent – and instead signed “like-for-like replacement” Jeff Hendrick, who was a free agent following the expiry of his Burnley contract.

Reacting to criticism – and comments from Steffen Freund for which the former Germany international has since apologised – Bentaleb said in a social media post: “A lot of things have been said or written during these last few hours regarding my situation at Schalke 04.

“In spite of a particular sports environment and disappointing results during the season, I would like to remind everyone that I stayed professional in all circumstances. I learned with great surprise and disappointment my exclusion from the professional group without any credible justification whatsoever.

"Furthermore, I endured some mean criticisms, borderline racists, from a particular press and some wannabe consultants more interested in virtual glory than real journalism.

"Fortunately, these persons represent only themselves. I would like to thank the Algerian head coach, Djamel Belmadi, the Algerian federation of football and some players and supporters for their kind words and support through all of this.

Nabil Bentaleb.

"Because we are always stronger when united, there will be no room for racism or any type of discrimination.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of NUFC coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor