Harry Kane was taken off during England's goalless draw with Scotland at Wembley on Friday night
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Harry Kane faces heartbreak over his dream to move to a Champions League club, with Manchester City unwilling to get drawn into a prolonged transfer saga.
The struggling England captain, who has failed to register a shot on target at the European Championship in the team’s opening two games, has insisted uncertainty over his future is not the reason behind his form.
Kane made it clear on the eve of the tournament that he wanted to leave Tottenham Hotspur, and publicly identified the Etihad Stadium as a preferred destination, but Telegraph Sport understands that Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, is now determined to keep hold of his talisman.
Pep Guardiola. the City manager, is looking for a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero and would welcome the addition of Kane. However, it is also understood that City are reluctant to fight until the final days of the summer transfer window to strike a deal.
Levy has negotiated club-record fees with Real Madrid for Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, with both deals eventually sealed in the final week of the window after lengthy summer discussions.
The chairman gave an interview saying he would do what was best to protect the club when it came to the future of Kane, adding that “his frustration at not winning is shared by me and, I’m sure, all the fans and players”.
While there has been talk of a gentlemen’s agreement between player and club for him to leave this summer, there is nothing in writing to force Levy to sell and he is determined to keep the 27-year-old striker.
Only a small number of clubs could afford Kane’s market valuation, which would be well over £100 million. Manchester United have also been looking for a striker, although their immediate priority is a deal for Jadon Sancho as a wide-forward.
City are also looking at midfielder Jack Grealish, Kane’s international team-mate, in a deal with Aston Villa that would break the Premier League transfer record. Negotiations are expected to be more straightforward than trying to land the Spurs player.
Kane revealed his intention to leave Spurs for a team contending for the big trophies in an interview with Gary Neville before Euro 2020, suggesting Kevin De Bruyne would be a dream team-mate for a striker.
With a backdrop of unrest at his club, Kane’s form at the Euros has been poor and he failed to score against Croatia and Scotland while barely getting a chance, although he insists uncertainty over his future is not a factor.
“Absolutely not, to be honest,” Kane said on Saturday. “All my focus is on how I can help this team and how we can be successful in this tournament.
“I understand from a media point of view there is speculation, but I am fully focused on the job we have here. We would have wanted to beat Scotland and go through, but that is not always the case in tournament football. It isn’t as easy as that.”
Kane has urged England supporters to be patient with a squad who had little time to prepare after players had their seasons extended to play in the Champions League and Europa League finals.
“The message is just to be patient, to be calm,” he said. “Obviously, we’re not going to play perfectly every game. The main thing is that we, as a group, are in a good mind space and good place. No one’s panicking here.
“No one is thinking we’ve got to change the way we do stuff. It’s a matter of just improving and working on a few bits that we know we can get better at and hopefully taking that into what will be the business end now.”
Luke Shaw says Kane ‘s goalless start to Euro 2020 should not be a concern. Asked if he was worried about Kane’s performances, the left-back said: “No concern at all. For me, I think he is the best striker in the world.
“He is a very important part of the team – in fact, the most important part. I think whether he has been at his best or not, he is a massive part and a crucial player for us.
“We need him whether his performances are as people expected or not. This happens in tournament football. You can score a goal at any moment and he is such a crucial player, not just on the pitch but off the pitch. He has got all of our backing and I’m not worried at all.”
England now need to beat Czech Republic on Tuesday to qualify as group winners, although only an unlikely sequence of results would lead to Gareth Southgate’s side being eliminated from the competition.
Shaw, who was one of two players to come into the side against Scotland, admits it was a poor evening for the team, but he is already looking ahead to the Czech fixture.
“There is no denying that there is a lot of disappointment,” the Manchester United defender said. “We would have liked to win the game, but you have to look at it in the way of another point in the right direction.
“If it was the other way round, we drew with Croatia and won against Scotland, it would have been four points still, so we have to keep positive.
“I think there should always be expectation, the team we have, as the talent is very strong. Of course, we can take the expectation, but maybe it [the Scotland result] brought us back down to earth to make us realise it is not going to be easy.
“Our aim is to be here for seven games. We will sit down and watch the game back and analyse what we want to do better, because there are things we could have done better as a team.
“Maybe in this game we weren’t at our best, and that shows, but it is another clean sheet. We still have another big game on Tuesday and we have to forget about this one and be ready.”
England vs Scotland