The long-running Harry Kane saga took another turn this morning when the striker did not arrive for pre-scheduled tests at Tottenham’s training ground.
With Manchester City interested in the England striker, it sent another surge of intrigue through one of the close season’s biggest transfer sagas.
Here is where the deal currently stands from inside both camps.
Alasdair Gold, Football London
What’s the current situation with Kane?
Harry Kane was expected to return to the club’s Hotspur Way training complex on Monday morning to undergo a Covid test and undertake bloodwork tests ahead of his pre-season return under Nuno Espirito Santo.
He did not arrive and now we will see whether this becomes a stand-off or whether it was just a one-off show of defiance or even something later explained away as a misunderstanding.
It’s certainly something the fans would not have expected from ‘one of their own’, the England captain, a player with a reputation for high standards of professionalism and one who signed a big six-year deal in 2018.
How have Spurs’ hierarchy reacted to the Kane situation?
It’s only making them dig their heels in further as some within the club had already been unimpressed with the various aspects of the handling of Kane’s future.
There was the story leaking at a crucial stage of Spurs’ run-in last season, then the interview with Gary Neville before the club’s European fate had been decided, followed by that recent front page story and now this latest development.
It may well go no further than this, but the various stages have certainly not helped any chance Kane had of moving on.
Does this make a move to Man City any more likely?
It makes it more difficult because it turns it into a point of principle for Tottenham.
With Spurs seeing Manchester City looking to tie up a deal for Jack Grealish worth £100m they can also rightly point to that deal with Aston Villa and say it shows just how much Kane is worth.
Grealish is a terrific player but Kane is one of the world’s best, his numbers and awards show that and he’s one with three years left on his contract.
Tottenham had already made it clear that they have no intention of selling their star player and they now won’t want to appear like they are giving in to any attempts to force them.
Chairman Daniel Levy has sold big players in the past, some who have kicked up a fuss, but none of them reach the level of finance required to get Kane away from the club. Spurs also know that replacing him would be a huge risk whatever the funds they have to spend.
What next for the club and player?
Kane will have to return to training otherwise it presumably then gets into ‘breach of contract’ territory which would become very messy for him.
It was always deemed unlikely that he would play the first game of the season due to the lack of rest and fitness work he would have under his belt, and the fact that it will be Manchester City up first makes it even more awkward.
Tottenham are interested in signing Dusan Vlahovic once they get a few more out the door to raise funds and are expected to move for the Fiorentina man later in the window, but that move was meant to be to play alongside Kane in an exciting front pairing under Espirito Santo.
It would be a lot of pressure on a 21-year-old to replace Kane, a player who is so much more than just a striker for Spurs.
This saga is going to roll on for weeks unless Kane comes out and says something to the contrary, which may only come if City indicate that they will not meet Tottenham’s demands this year.
Stuart Brennan, Manchester Evening News
What are City sources saying (if anything) about Kane’s failure to turn up for training at Spurs?
There’s nothing coming out of City, officially or unofficially, on this.
City tend to have a hard line on matters that are not strictly their business – and this is very much a matter between Kane and Tottenham. But whispers at the club all summer have expressed some confidence that Kane is desperate to join the Blues and so this morning’s news is not a huge shock.
Does Kane remain a target – has there been any progress since the stories claiming a deal was in the pipeline? Is he still keen on a move to City?
Kane has been restrained in what he has said, even if his comments that he would be assessing his future and that Kevin De Bruyne is the player he would most like to link up with look pretty blatant! Again, City would not be going all out to sign Kane, or Jack Grealish, without strong indications that they want to join them.
With Sergio Aguero leaving, a striker was very much top priority this summer, and even though Grealish has distracted the media attention in the last few days, Kane remains the man they want above all others.
Could City do Kane and Grealish in one transfer window?
Absolutely. If the prices remain within their budget, it will still be a spend less than Chelsea splashed out last summer, even if it is only on two players rather than the five the Londoners bought.
And with the possibility of a big name leaving the Etihad, and with a host of fringe players being sold for sizeable amounts (Angelino £16m, Jack Harrison £13m, Lukas Nmecha £8.5m, Ivan Ilic (£7m) as well as an £11m windfall from Jadon Sancho’s transfer to United, the outlay looks even more manageable.
What is City’s current stance on the Kane situation?
They have said very little, other than demolishing the notion that they were preparing to pay £160million for him, when they said they would never spend such an amount on a player, and in denying that they have already made a £100m bid.
But they remain intent on buying the player, as long as the price stays within their strict budget.
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