England players think there is a real possibility Harry Kane could refuse to report for pre-season training at Tottenham as he looks to push through a big-money move to champions Manchester City this summer.
Kane informed Spurs he was keen for a fresh challenge back in May before departing for international duty with the Three Lions at Euro 2020, with City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid all closely monitoring the situation.
Pep Guardiola is a huge admirer of Kane and widespread reports last month suggested City had seen an opening £100million offer for the 27-year-old rejected by their Premier League rivals.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has stood firm amid the intense speculation and released a statement vowing to ‘do whatever is right for the club’, suggesting he had not yet given up hope of keeping hold of the talismanic striker.
Newly-appointed Nuno Espirito Santo made his stance abundantly clear regarding Kane’s future at his opening press conference on Friday as he stressed that the forward was still at the heart of his plans for the forthcoming season.
‘I have no doubts in my mind. What I wish is for Harry to recover well and have a good rest,’ the Tottenham head coach told reporters.
‘When he arrives he will feel that he has to commit himself to become better. We are ambitious, we want to do well and we count on Harry to do that.
Harry is our player, period. There is no need to talk about anything else. Now is the time for him to rest. When he returns we can have a good conversation. I am looking forward to him joining the group.’
According to The Telegraph, many of Kane’s England colleagues – who have been with the attacker for the last six weeks – believe he could be prepared to snub training in a bid to force his way to the Etihad before the transfer window closes.
Kane’s camp have maintained throughout that he has a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ which would allow him to leave this summer but there’s a chance the situation could become unpleasant if Spurs continue to dig their heels in.
The England captain – who has scored 221 goals in 336 games for his boyhood club – is yet to speak with new boss Nuno and is not interested in discussing the possibility of staying on for another year.
Kane’s bid to leave Tottenham has never been related to wages, rather his burning desire to start adding major silverware to his CV after failing to lift a single trophy across his near decade-long spell in the first-team in north London.
City could turn their attentions to Bayern Munich and Poland superstar Robert Lewandowski after having their opening bid for Kane turned down by Spurs but the England skipper remains their priority for the time being.
Widely regarded to be among the finest attacking players in world football, Kane finished last season with the most goals (23) and the most assists (14) in the English top flight.
Kane had a slow start at this summer’s European Championships but finished with a tally of four goals as England lost out to Roberto Mancini’s Italy in the final.
Only Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (5) and the Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick (5) scored more times than Kane at this summer’s tournament.
Earlier this month, Guardiola played down the rumours linking Kane with City and suggested a deal was ‘impossible’ if the eye-watering prices being bandied about were the truth.
‘At the prices we are not going to buy any strikers. It is impossible, we cannot afford it,’ Guardiola said.
‘All clubs are struggling financially; we are not an exception. We have Gabriel [Jesus] and Ferran [Torres] who have been incredible in this position.
‘We have young players in the academy and we play many times with a false nine.
‘There is more of a chance we aren’t going to buy a striker for next season.’
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