Harry Kane has revealed he will be staying at Tottenham this summer, following months of speculation about his future. Here, Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour, who has covered the story closely, answers key questions on what it means and what comes next…
How much of a surprise was it to see Harry Kane confirm he would be staying at Tottenham this summer, given Manchester City’s long pursuit of him?
Paul Gilmour: When a player like Harry Kane, with the type of contract he’s on, expresses a wish to leave, it’s a case of anything can happen. In this specific case, given it is Daniel Levy involved as Tottenham chairman, and his reputation, and the fact that it emerged there was no release clause in his contract, then that would have been a really worrying sign for Harry Kane. So in the back of his mind, he would have always felt that this was a possibility. And that’s how it’s turned out. He will be staying.
It’s a massive, massive boost for Tottenham and for Levy, especially after the European Super League fallout. Daniel Levy will be the toughest opponent Manchester City face this season.
We’re being told Kane held really positive talks with director of football Fabio Paratici and the management team that are in place at the moment – head coach Nuno Espirito Santo and Paratici, director of technical performance Steve Hitchen and Levy – they’ve found a way to convince Kane.
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He does not want to be playing in the Europa Conference League, he wants to be in the Champions League, he wants to be going for Premier League titles. He wants Tottenham to be ambitious, he wants to do all of that, ideally, at Tottenham. It’s become clear over the last couple of years that it’s been a world away from the days of the Champions League final under Mauricio Pochettino. It hasn’t felt like that for Kane. So to be able to get him to get his head down and get on with it this season is a major achievement.
I don’t think there’s any concern whatsoever that Harry Kane won’t be professional. The information we’re getting is that Kane loves Tottenham too much for that. Yes, he wanted away, he wanted to try and have those personal ambitions but there’s going to be no problem with him getting his head down and being professional. I don’t think there are going to be any issues with a lack of concentration or his mind being elsewhere, as it would be with some other players. His respect for the club and the club fan base, especially, would mean that he’s going to give everything.
What happens beyond the season, that’s another question. A lot has been made of the wording of the tweet about ‘this summer’. Whether he does sign a new contract that suddenly has a release clause, is that a possible compromise? That’s all stuff that will come in the future. We don’t know, at this stage. But in terms of the immediate priority of this season, it’s a good day for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
The wording of Kane’s tweet is interesting. ‘…this summer…’ has led to speculation Man City or other clubs could come in again for Kane in January or this time next year. Nuno has said “It’s finished”. Is it?
Gilmour: Nothing has changed in the sense that Kane wants to go for the major titles. He wants to be in teams that are challenging for leagues and the cups.
He just wants Tottenham to show ambition. He wants Tottenham to progress and be of a level that he wants to be at. The Tottenham players got a real taste for that in the Champions League final. He wants more of that and if Tottenham are way off the pace, then that’s the driving factor for him wanting away for the last year or so.
What good might come of this from a Kane perspective is, we’ve seen some players move on this summer, we’ve seen Paratici come in with a new manager as well. So is there a chance to start building something and start trying to work towards something? To try and clear out some of the players who maybe don’t quite fit into that way the club wants to go and can they try and get back to being competitive? Can they try and qualify for the Champions League this season?
Football is difficult to predict sometimes. Football changes. Sometimes in football, the immediacy is just as important because we can’t predict what will happen to them. Who’s to say this time next year Tottenham have qualified for the Champions League and they’re playing great football and Kane is scoring goals and everyone’s happy and everyone’s throwing plaudits Tottenham’s way?
There’s no guarantee that won’t be the case – although, equally, they could have another season like they did last year and it’s even more of a problem.
Nobody can predict what way football is going to go so that’s why getting him on board and drawing a line under this for all parties is just a really positive development from a club point of view.
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Next summer Erling Haaland has a release clause of £64m. Next summer Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe are available on free transfers. Next summer Kane will turn 29. Do those circumstances suggest he has missed his chance for a big move away from Tottenham?
Gilmour: It is possible but again circumstances can change so much in football that everything is different again by this time next summer.
If you remember back in May, when we first reported that Kane had told Daniel Levy he wanted to leave this summer, the three clubs that wanted to sign him were Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Now Chelsea, that was always a non-starter given the rivalry of the clubs and that Chelsea have since got sorted with Romelu Lukaku.
But one thing I’ve been told consistently is United might be in a better position to go for someone like Kane next summer. If Kane’s still a Tottenham player this season then Manchester United come into play more for next summer.
So there’s always something else that crops up and a lot of it depends on strikers elsewhere and where they go. Where will Haaland go, for example, that might just have an impact on where Kane ends up. So it’s fascinating but it’s one of those ones where we have to wait and see how that domino effect begins to take shape over the next six months to a year.
Tottenham fans were protesting outside the Spurs stadium, calling for Daniel Levy to resign at the end of last season, following news of the failed European Super League. But has this situation been a good example of what a good businessman he is, in terms of looking after Tottenham’s key assets?
Gilmour: Levy’s job is to have the best interests of the club at heart. That’s what he does. He looks after the club. And selling off a player who had so many goal involvements last season clearly wasn’t in the best interest of the club and he was clearly never going to sell him on the cheap either.
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And Kane didn’t expect to be sold on the cheap. He completely understood the fact that he has three years remaining and yes, he maybe had a view of how much he could go for, as he said in that interview, but he also understood as time wore on, and Daniel Levy’s position became ultra clear, there was an understanding that just because he wanted to leave didn’t mean he had a right to go on the cheap. And that’s the way it’s played out.
Harry Kane is staying. Spurs have two wins from two Premier League games, Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn look rejuvenated, youngsters Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are impressing, Cristian Romero and Bryan Gil have joined… Is there cause for optimism around the club now?
Gilmour: It seems like there’s been a bit more of a plan with Paratici coming in. Dele Alli has really put in the work over the summer and you can tell that because he has come in and looks rejuvenated and refreshed since the days of Jose Mourinho, where it just didn’t quite click for him and Mourinho. You’ve got all these new signings coming in and things will probably feel a bit more optimistic, especially as they try and move on players who don’t want to be there.
But it seems like they’re starting to make moves and shaping a squad that’s going to be competitive. We just don’t know how that squad gels and how new signings settle in. But the early stages of the season have shown plenty of promise.
The Kane saga
- March, 2020: Kane reveals frustration at failing to win trophies with Tottenham and says he is prepared to leave the club.
- May 17, 2021: Kane tells Daniel Levy he wants to leave Spurs after the club fails to win a trophy or finish in the top four – based on a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the pair.
- May 19: The England striker appears to wave goodbye to fans after a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.
- May 20: Kane puts the cat among the pigeons when he reveals the need to “have a good, honest conversation” with Levy about his future in an interview with Gary Neville.
- July 16: Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo says Kane is Tottenham’s player and Levy told him Kane could be “counted on”.
- July 19: Following an initial goal drought at Euro 2020, Kane denies being distracted by Man City links.
- July 23: Kane reportedly reveals he is set to join Man City to guests at his brother’s wedding.
- August 2: Kane fails to attend the club’s training ground for pre-season tests and the club threatens to fine him.
- August 3: News filters through the 28-year-old is still on holiday in the Bahamas and is due to report at the club later that week.
- August 6: Kane tweets he would never refuse to train and would return to Spurs the next day “as planned” after Pep Guardiola says his club wants to sign him.
- August 7: Kane arrives at the club’s training ground and isolates after returning from holiday and also speaks with Espirito Santo for the first time.
- August 15: Kane is missing from the matchday squad and the stadium as Spurs edge Man City 1-0 on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
- August 17: Kane trains with his club team-mates for the first time in the new campaign.
- August 19: Kane is among several key players who stay in England as the squad travels to Portugal for the Europa Conference League play-off first-leg tie against Pacos de Ferreira.
- August 22: Kane makes his 2021/22 league bow for Spurs as a substitute in a 1-0 win at Wolves.
- August 25: Kane announces he will be staying at Spurs “this summer” in a statement published on Twitter.
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