A front-page story claiming Harry Kane had agreed the biggest transfer deal in English football to join Manchester City caused a stir this morning – before both sides moved to play down the claims.
Manchester City were reported to have agreed a £160million switch with Tottenham for Kane but that’s not the case.
However, the claims further inflamed a story that is not going anywhere this transfer window.
Here are the stances of both sides as the Kane story continues to dominate the headlines.
Alasdair Gold, football.london
What’s Spurs’ reaction to the story?
In the face of the latest report, Spurs have simply reiterated their stance that they have no intention of selling Harry Kane this summer.
Nuno Espirito Santo was pretty clear about it during his press conference unveiling and he would not have done so without the confidence of being told that from the board and new managing director Fabio Paratici.
Paratici himself also gave an interview the week before stating exactly the same.
Tottenham have been pretty consistent on saying Kane is staying and should they change their stance before the window closes, they’re going to look daft.
Would Levy be tempted to sell at the £160m mentioned?
If a bid actually came in for that amount then you’d think it would be the trigger to at least start some sort of back and forth, but Spurs have kept a consistent stance on this. It would be unusual if such a bid came in though as City have been consistent with their spending over the years – never going above £70m – and Pep Guardiola stated that they could not spend big money on a striker this summer.
Having such stories splashed across the front page are only likely to make Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy dig his heels in even further. The England captain’s performances as the Euros hit their knockout stages would also have only increased his value.
What is the view from the Kane camp?
Clearly Kane would like to try out a new challenge, even if he has not publicly come out and said that himself. The constant ‘leaks’, starting while Spurs were still in the business end of their season, have not helped his cause at all.
Now this latest report is said to have come from conversations at the recent wedding of his brother – also Harry’s agent – and none of it has gone down well with the club. I’m sure there’s an element of frustration from Kane’s people but I’m not sure any of the reports are helping progress the prospect of a deal.
I’d be surprised if Kane downed tools because of his great relationship with the fans and people at the club.
Are alternative plans advanced?
With the way Fabio Paratici works, he will have a long list of potential targets ready if Tottenham were to suddenly perform a u-turn late in the transfer window.
He already will be looking for a new striker to fill the gap left by the return of on-loan forward Carlos Vinicius back to Benfica, but to replace everything Kane brings – he was the Premier League’s top goalscorer and laid on the most assists – you would need more than one player to come in. Only Jimmy Greaves has scored more goals for Tottenham in the club’s history.
Tottenham have a long-held interest in Southampton striker Danny Ings, but I do wonder whether if Kane, as Spurs state, stays put in north London, the Saints man could end up heading to Manchester instead.
Stuart Brennan, Manchester Evening News
What is Manchester City’s stance?
Manchester City have distanced themselves forcefully from reports of a £160million fee for Harry Kane – along with a £400,000-a-week wage package.
£160million is incredibly steep for anyone, never mind City, who have never even topped £70million for a player and have been very cautious not to go too high on deals, walking away from any transfer that busts their valuation.
The only clue we have is Pep Guardiola saying last season that City simply cannot afford the kind of prices that clubs were asking for strikers, and that was undoubtedly meaning Kane and Erling Haaland.
He qualified that a few days later by saying that the day might come when City decide to pay a nine-figure sum for a player, if he was the right one.
But £160million still seems beyond them, after they recorded a £120million loss last season, even if they have been clear that the lockdown financial figures will not affect their intentions in the transfer window. Kane is 27, and could sign a five or six-year contract, but even that would pan out as £26-32million a season, a huge red mark on the budget.
Manchester City sources described the story as “nonsense”.