Harry Kane’s latest interview on his Tottenham Hotspur future read like a ‘back me or sell me’ ultimatum to his chairman Daniel Levy.
The 27-year-old’s conversation during a round of golf with Gary Neville for the Sky Sports pundit’s new YouTube channel The Overlap was often fair and balanced, will have been understood by many Tottenham fans but also on a couple of occasions slightly naïve or perhaps misguided.
It was just a five-minute snippet of a much longer interview to come with Neville and Spurs supporters will be wondering what will come next.
Kane has been the centre of plenty of speculation this week surrounding his future, with reports claiming he has told Spurs that he wants to leave.
football.london previously reported that Kane has not yet directly told the club he wants to depart this summer but would be willing to consider a move should an offer come in for his services.
That now appears to be the gist of his interview with Neville as he stated that he would like to have a conversation with Levy at some point to discuss his future as he reaches a crossroads in his career.
There is anger within Tottenham at the timing of the leaks surrounding Kane, and then this interview, just as the club were reaching two crucial games in their season to decide whether they would reach the Europa League.
Now that is out of Spurs’ hands it could cost them a lot of money if they cannot overhaul West Ham on the final day of the season.
Revenue through TV and prize money for the Europa League winners, depending on the team’s coefficient, can be anywhere between £30m and £47.5m.
For a club that has been hit hard by potentially £200m of lost revenue from the pandemic with a £175m Bank of England loan that must be paid off by next March, that kind of income is vital if they want to compete next season.
The leaks and interview could have come after the season had ended but that would have put all the media speculation and questions on England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of the Euros instead of Kane’s close friend Ryan Mason, who has had to put up with plenty of awkward questions in his month as interim head coach with 16 alone on Kane in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference.
As it is, the speculation will rumble into the Euros and draw Southgate in as well anyway.
Kane looked affected by it all on Wednesday night in the defeat to Aston Villa and that spread throughout the team as he didn’t exactly lead them from the front.
The England captain has been phenomenal this season with 32 goals and 16 assists in 48 games but he has not dazzled for his friend Mason, netting just once in the five games he has been fit for the interim head coach including a subdued performance in the Carabao Cup final – his chance to grab some silverware this season.
Kane has now publicly said he wants a meeting with Levy about his future but the timing of this and the potential lost revenue from the Europa League will mean he can forget any chance of convincing the club to accept any low bids that come in for him.
The player will believe that as the club’s second highest goalscorer of all time has enough credit in the bank to overcome any current hard feelings.
Tottenham do not expect to sell Kane this summer and it would take a huge bid to even get talks started with another club.
That would be the case if this was a normal year, with Kane having three years left on the six-year deal he signed in 2018, but added on top of that the current angry state of the fanbase would reach new heights if Levy were to let his one world class player leave.
Kane has consistently said each year that he is happy at Tottenham as long as his ambitions are being matched by the club.
On the whole his latest comments come across as one final challenge to Levy to do the same.
“I think [it’s a crossroads in my career]. I think it’s definitely a conversation to be had with the club,” he said. “Yeah, like you say, I want to be playing in the biggest games. The biggest moments.
“Like, this season I’m there watching the Champions League, watching the English teams in there doing amazing. They are the games that I want to be involved in.
“I want to be in them games. So for sure, it’s a moment in my career where I have to kind of reflect and see where I’m at and have a good, honest conversation with the chairman. I hope that we can have that conversation.
“I’m sure that he’ll want to set out the plan of where he sees it but ultimately it’s going to be down to me and how I feel and what’s going to be the best for me and my career this moment in time.”
The problem for Kane is that it’s not going to be ultimately down to him at all. Levy is the one who holds all the cards.
What could be key for Tottenham fans is that the player did play down that he’s desperate to leave right now.
“I don’t want to have come to the end of my career and have any regrets,” he said. “So, I want to be the best that I can be. I’ve said before, I’d never say that I’d stay at Spurs for the rest of my career. I’d never say that I would leave Spurs.
“I’m at that stage where you could say, you know. People might look at it as ‘He’s desperate for trophies, he needs trophies’.
“I still feel like I’ve still got almost another career to play. I’ve got another seven or eight years. Kind of what I’ve had so far in the Premier League.
“So I’m not rushing anything. I’m not going to…I’m not desperate to do anything, but yeah, I just want to be the best version of me. I feel like for sure I’ve got so much more to give. I feel like I can be even better than what I’ve been. I can produce better numbers than what I’m producing at the moment.”
Kane says Levy has always been fair to him but that he does not know how the conversation between the two will play out.
“We’ve always had a good relationship, but yeah, I’m not sure how that conversation will go if I’m honest, but you know what it’s like as players you don’t know what the chairman is thinking,” he said.
“I don’t know, I mean he might want to sell me. He might be thinking ‘If I could get 100 million for you, then why not?’ Do you know what I mean? I’m not going to be worth that for the next two or three years.”
When it was put to him that the transfer fee might be more like £200m than £100m, Kane laughed and stumbled a bit: “But erm, but yeah. It’s going to be. I hope we have a good enough relationship.
“I’ve given the club…well, I’ve been there for 16 years of my life. So, I hope that we can have a good honest conversation and see where we are at in that aspect.”
The conversation is unlikely to see Kane granted any indication that he will be able to move this summer but in that case the striker will also be looking for assurances about what the club will do in the transfer market and who the new manager will be.
football.london understands that strong new candidates for the vacant managerial post are constantly emerging at the moment and making their interest known.
Tottenham will attempt to speak to all of their top candidates face to face rather than over Zoom once the season ends, when currently employed managers are out of their club bubbles.
Levy must make sure the next manager is the right one to not only appease the disgruntled fanbase but also show Kane that the club can move forward after two disappointing seasons.
On the transfer front, the Spurs chairman must find money from somewhere, despite the looming shadow of that big loan to repay and the lost revenue to be recouped.
The ideal scenario would be to sell a number of the club’s fringe players to provide the funds for the new manager to build the team in his image.
That is something Tottenham have struggled to do in recent years and it has hampered their ability to revamp the squad. If they struggle again this summer then it will necessitate the need to sell another popular player other than Kane.
This summer Levy has a lot of people of people to win over, including a new manager, Harry Kane, the club’s creditors and most importantly the fans.
Source by Football London