Schalke chief Christian Heidel has revealed Tottenham refused to consider selling Nabil Bentaleb to a Premier League rival.
The Spurs midfielder joined Schalke over the summer on-loan with the view to a permanent deal.
Heidel admitted: "In Bentaleb we were lucky. There'd been countless offers for him, coming to tens of millions - in English pounds.
"It was our luck that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was afraid to sell him within England. What he wanted, however, was a fee as if we were English.
"In the end, we were able to arrange a loan deal."