Harry Kane wants to leave Spurs

Credit: AFP

Harry Kane has taken drastic action in his bid to force through a move to Manchester City by refusing to report for the start of pre-season training with Tottenham Hotspur and risking a heavy fine.

Spurs are in the dark over when Kane will return, with chairman Daniel Levy keen to hold talks with the striker about his future and his desire to leave the club.

The situation could get even uglier, with Kane, who earns around £200,000-a-week, expected to be fined for his no-show and risking an even larger fine if he stays away while he waits for City to make an official offer.

City have already bid £100million for Kane’s England team-mate Jack Grealish, who reported for training with Aston Villa and posed for photographs with fans and the same day Kane effectively went on strike.

Telegraph Sport exclusively first revealed on July 16 that Kane’s England team-mates believed he could miss the start of pre-season training as he attempts to force his way out of Spurs.

Tottenham refused to comment on the situation, but it is understood the club are disappointed by Kane’s actions and now consider it to be an internal matter that they will work to resolve as quickly as possible.

Kane’s camp also declined to comment on his decision to miss Covid testing and what should have been his return for pre-season on Monday, following a holiday after the European Championships.

But it is understood Kane still believes that he has a gentleman’s agreement with Levy from last summer that he can leave Tottenham this year after first requesting to go 12 months ago.

Levy talked Kane into staying last summer and there is some dispute of the nature of the supposed gentleman’s agreement, with sources claiming Tottenham have always been clear that they do not want to sell their star player to a Premier League rival.

Kane clearly thinks differently and he may well argue that, having tried to leave amicably last term, he has no other option than to try to force the issue this time around with Levy showing no sign of wanting to negotiate.

Those who know Levy fear that Kane’s actions will only make him even more determined to keep the 28-year-old, who still has three more years remaining on his contract.

But whether or not that proves to be realistic may depend on how long Kane is prepared to stay and it now seems certain he will miss the start of the season, when Tottenham kick-off against City on August 15.

New head coach Nuno Espirito Santo had hoped to speak to Kane about his future on the player’s return from his holidays, but his pre-season plans are now in danger of being badly disrupted.

While working to try to convince Kane back to training, Tottenham are closing in on Atalanta defender Cristian Romero and are interested in Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, who they have targeted to compete with and play alongside Kane. Spurs are also interested in Southampton’s Danny Ings, but his contract demands may be deemed too high.

Q & A: How Manchester City can finance record deals for Jack Grealish and Harry Kane in the same summer?

By James Ducker

How much would it cost Manchester City to sign both Jack Grealish and Harry Kane this summer?

City are unlikely to get much change out of £220 million for the England team-mates. The Premier League champions lodged a £100m bid with Aston Villa for Grealish last week that would eclipse the current record £89m Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba in 2016 and, in all likelihood, they would have to break the record again to get Kane out of Tottenham before the transfer window closes on Aug. 31.

Wasn’t the coronavirus pandemic supposed to breed some parsimony in football this summer given the way income streams have been hit?

Clubs have tightened their belts considerably across Europe but, despite that eye-watering headline figure the signings of Grealish and Kane would command, City believe a net spend of around £50m is still achievable this summer.

That sounds very low in the circumstances – how so?

City had £45m in the bank from the sale of Germany winger Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich last summer that was not shown in the club’s accounts for 2019/20. They have already raised £51.4m from the sales of Angelino to RB Leipzig, Jack Harrison to Leeds and Lukas Nmecha to Wolfsburg and a clause that entitled them to 15 per cent of the profit of the sell-on fee when their former winger Jadon Sancho rivals joined Manchester United for £72.9m last month, plus solidarity payments. 

Serbia midfielder Ivan Ilic is closing in on a move to Hellas Verona for an initial £7m and City hope to fetch at least another £40m from the sales of Yangel Herrera, Pedro Porro and Morgan Rogers. 

There is likely to be more money raised from loan fees for players such as Liam Delap giving a total pot of up to £150m.

Is there not talk of a senior player being sold as well?

Yes. City could further swell their coffers by selling a senior member of Pep Guardiola’s squad. Bernardo Silva seems the most likely departure should Grealish and Kane arrive and the Portugal playmaker is thought to be open to a move away, even if the challenge will be to find a club willing and able to cough up a fee of between £50m and £60m for a player they bought for £43m from Monaco in 2017.

What about the wage bill?

City’s wage bill hit £351.4m for 2019/20 – the largest in the Premier League – and the arrival of Grealish and Kane would add around £600,000 a week to it, or more than £31m annually. But the departure of striker Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia for Barcelona has already saved around £300,000 a week and if Bernardo or another senior player was to depart there may only be an uplift of around £150,000 a week. 

City are also in the process of renewing the contracts of a number of players and, aside from the primary purpose of securing their long-term futures, any such new deals can also help to make additional room on the club’s books. Since transfer fees are spread out across the length of the contract term – a process known as amortisation – the annual payments are reduced when those deals are extended.

Ederson, John Stones and Phil Foden are among those in talks over new contracts.