Harry Kane is currently on holiday following England's Euros campaign
Harry Kane’s England team-mates believe he could refuse to return to pre-season training with Tottenham Hotspur in a bid to try to force a move to Manchester City.
Nuno Espirito Santo, during his first public appearance as Spurs head coach, has reiterated that Kane is a Tottenham player and plans talks with the club’s star man when he joins up with the rest of the squad for training.
But England players, who have spent six weeks with Kane this summer, think there is a possibility that he will not report for training if Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy digs his heels in over the 27-year-old’s future.
The situation could potentially become reminiscent of the summer of 2013, when Gareth Bale pulled out of a pre-season tour ahead of moving to Real Madrid.
Bale spent last season on loan at Spurs with Kane, but Nuno confirmed the Welshman will not return to the club this campaign.
Kane believes he has a gentleman’s agreement that Spurs will listen to bids for him this summer with City communicating their readiness to make an opening bid worth £100million.
But Levy remains determined not to sell his prized asset and told candidates for the Tottenham job this summer, including Nuno, that the club are planning for Kane to stay.
That could prompt a stand-off, although Kane and the rest of the England squad are currently taking three weeks off since last Sunday’s European Championships final and there has been no official word on his intentions.
Nuno has not spoken to Kane since he succeeded Jose Mourinho as Tottenham’s latest head coach and he might need to re-think his plan of waiting for the England captain to return to the club before addressing his future with him.
Nuno Espirito Santo joined Tottenham after leaving Wolves last season
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
“Harry is our player, period,” said Nuno. “No need to talk about anything else. Now is the moment for Harry to recover his energy, to rest. When he comes again we will have time to speak. We will have good conversations, but now is the moment for Harry to rest and to prepare for what’s coming. And I’m looking forward to him joining the group and starting working together.
“I didn’t speak to any of the players in the national teams, no one. Because I believe if I was on the other side it would be disrespectful. I think the players in the national team should be focussed on the national team. He has a hard job to do, totally committed to the national team, obviously, so this is why I decided not to speak to any of them. I will speak when they arrive. This is the right moment in our own building, face to face, sitting down and to prepare our future together.
“Harry’s one of the best footballers in the world and he’s a Tottenham FC player.”
Asked specifically whether or not Levy had promised him that Kane will not be sold, Nuno replied: “All the conversations that we had, all the squad are available, and we have a lot of good players, I can count on. And I’m counting on each and every one of them.
“I had a lot of meetings, we spoke about a lot of things, But one thing is for sure: what we speak about between us, stays between us. What I can say about that is Harry Kane is one of the best football players in the world and he’s with us, he’s our player, he’s Tottenham’s player. That can make us very proud.”
While Nuno was not entirely convincing on Kane’s future, he left no room for doubt whatsoever over whether or not Bale will return for another season at Tottenham.
“He will not be part of our squad,” said Nuno after being asked if Bale, who spent most of last season on the substitutes’ bench under Mourinho, could come back again.
Polite and calmly-spoken, Nuno, ahead of Tottenham’s first pre-season game against Leyton Orient on Saturday, did not try to argue against the assumption he was not the club’s first-choice appointment after talks with Antonio Conte and Paulo Fonseca, among others, broke down.
But he did make it clear that Spurs were always his number one choice, saying: “I cannot speak about what happened, but what I can tell you is I am so proud. The moment I had the phone call that I had a chance to have a meeting with Tottenham, everything changed. Everything in my perspective changed. I am where I wanted to be. Where I wished to be. So this is what I’m delighted about.
“The concerns around the club, it’s normal. All the expectations around big clubs are huge and you have to be prepared for that. But the way you prepare yourself is to ignore all the noise, focus on the things you have to control and what I can control is to prepare the players and this is what I’m doing on a daily basis. Every moment of the training session I’m looking to find the best way.”