Nice boss Patrick Vieira rules out summer exit for Tottenham Hotspur target Youcef Atal

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The Algeria defender has been the subject of transfer interest from several European clubs owing to his excellent performances with the Eaglets

Nice manager Patrick Vieira has dismissed transfer speculation linking wing-back Youcef Atal with a summer move away from the Allianz Riviera.

The 22-year-old defender is enjoying an impressive debut campaign in the French top-flight with six goals in 25 matches so far. Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid are reported to be interested in his services.

On Sunday, Atal showed off his goalscoring prowess by netting a hat-trick as the Eaglets walloped Guingamp 3-0 in a Ligue 1 fixture.

After the emphatic win moved the club to seventh in the league table, Vieira emphasised Nice's stance regarding the future of the Algeria international. 

“Gilles Grimandi [technical director] has already spoken about this. We aren’t sellers. Youcef will be here next year,” Vieira told club's official website.

“He is improving. He works a lot. If you look at his goals, you see the aggression he has to be in the right place to score. He is a positive character with good spirit.”

Against Guingamp, Atal was drafted into an unusual position by Vieira that saw him focus majorly on attacking duties.

He was placed upfront to form a three-man attacking line with Allan Saint-Maximin and Ihsan Sacko.

The former Arsenal midfielder is pleased with the way the Algerian adapted and contributed to their triumph.

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“He was rewarded for his efforts. The team allowed him to express himself and to show his talent. We were good in possession and that allowed us to be dangerous. What he has over the others is his desire to get into the box,” he added.

“It’s the balance of the team that counts. I am happy with Patrick Burner’s performance on the right. You can’t forget that we have also had a lot of injuries.

“Youcef played in this position when he was younger, it gives us different options for this season and next. But yes, he will almost certainly move back to play against Nantes."

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