After links to Bayern Munich, Harry Kane returns to work at Tottenham this week for preseason training.
The uncertainty surrounding the England captain, however, looks set to rumble on through this transfer window.
New Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou held his first news conference on Monday since joining from Celtic and was immediately asked about Kane’s future as the striker enters the final year of his contract at the London club.
“I haven’t had any assurances (about his future) and I wouldn’t expect any assurances,” the Australian manager said. “He’s one of the premier strikers in the world and I want him involved.”
Postecoglou, known for being a blunt speaker, plans to hold a meeting with Kane this week amid reports the captain is open to moving to German champion Bayern.
“My conversation with him will be about how we can make this club successful and I’ve got no doubts that’s what he wants as well,” Postecoglou said. “What I want is to introduce myself to Harry and give him my vision of the football club and get a sense from him on what he thinks the club needs to do to be successful, and walk out on that training pitch and try to make it happen.”
Tottenham is said to be determined to reject any bid for the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer, even though he will become a free agent at the end of the season. It wants to tie him down to a new long-term contract.
Bayern, however, may test that resolve, having reportedly made two bids, with the latest one valued at 68.5 million pounds ($88 million).
It is likely to have to go much higher than that if it is to stand any chance of tempting Spurs to cash in on its iconic forward. The question is whether Bayern’s initial move will tempt others to the table.
Manchester United has long been linked with Kane, and wants to sign a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo this offseason.
Real Madrid needs to replace the departed Karim Benzema and has also been mentioned in connection with Kane.
Then there is Paris Saint-Germain, which is intent on selling Kylian Mbappe unless its World Cup-winning forward signs a new contract.
That means four of European soccer’s biggest clubs are potentially in the market for a top-class center forward this summer, which could play into Tottenham’s hands if it took the pragmatic decision to let Kane go.
It has been claimed that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s preference would be to sell abroad if he was to sell at all. The theory goes he would even be prepared to accept a smaller transfer fee, rather than see a club great playing for another English team.
That would take United out of the running. And while manager Erik ten Hag is an admirer of England’s all-time leading scorer, there has been a growing expectation that he will look elsewhere.
Madrid is likely to be leading the chase for Mbappe, having tried to sign him in 2021. But the France international has said he plans to see out the final year of his contract. PSG’s transfer strategy is heavily dependent on Mbappe’s movement or non-movement.
Bayern has acted quickest but, even in the final year of Kane’s contract, a bid of $88 million looks low. Levy has gained a fierce reputation for his negotiating skills and managed to keep Kane when he was widely expected to join Manchester City two years ago.
Tottenham’s bargaining position is weaker as it risks losing one of the finest strikers in history for nothing.
In a year, Kane will likely be able to take his pick of any of Europe’s leading clubs. That could see him stay in England where he would have the chance to fulfil his ambition of surpassing Alan Shearer’s all-time record of 260 Premier League goals.
While Levy might not want to be the man who sold Kane, the prospect of losing him for nothing would surely be worse.
That is why interest from Bayern may be more tempting than Tottenham is ready to admit — especially if it draws out other bidders and ultimately drives up his price.
In an ideal world for Levy and Tottenham fans, the meeting with Postecoglou this week will convince Kane he can achieve his ambitions of winning silverware right where he is. That despite the London club having had five managers in the last four years and failing to qualify for the Champions League last season, success is within reach.
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