Football

Harry Kane future: Tottenham look to fend off interest with new contract

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Tottenham Hotspur are expected to try and fend off interest in Harry Kane by opening fresh contract talks at the end of the season, sources have told ESPN.

Kane pushed to leave Spurs last summer after becoming frustrated at the club’s failure to win silverware — Tottenham’s last trophy remains the 2008 League Cup — but despite Manchester City, among others, expressing a desire to sign the England captain, no club was willing to meet the £150 million asking price.

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City are continuing to monitor Kane’s situation and will be in the market for a forward this summer but could turn their attention to Erling Haaland with Borussia Dortmund expected to allow the Norway international to leave.

Tottenham’s progress under new head coach Antonio Conte will be a significant factor in determining Kane’s willingness to commit himself further.

Last weekend’s 3-2 win at Manchester City breathed fresh life into their hopes of a top-four finish, Spurs are eighth in the table and seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United goal with three games in hand.

Champions League qualification would ensure Kane could play in Europe’s top tier competition once again and sources claim he has been impressed by Conte’s determination to aggressively overhaul the Spurs squad in a bid to turn them into title challengers.

However, Champions League qualification alone may not be enough to convince Kane he can be most successful at Spurs given he turns 29 in July and is desperate to add trophies to a career in which he has scored 173 Premier League goals in 268 games and 48 goals for England in 67 appearances.

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The striker’s £200,000-a-week contract expires in 2024. Sources have told ESPN that Spurs are keen for Kane to stay, and seek to agree fresh terms, but it is unclear at this stage whether Kane will be willing to negotiate or push for a move instead.

Although Spurs took a dim view of Kane returning late for pre-season training, his relationship with the club remains amicable given he never handed in a formal transfer request, believing instead he had a « gentleman’s agreement » with chairman Daniel Levy to depart.

Kane also never went on strike at any point in an attempt to force a move and sources have described his attitude as « typically professional » since being denied the move he craved last August.

Manchester United and Chelsea were also mooted as possible destinations for Kane last summer. Should Mauricio Pochettino become manager at Old Trafford, he would reignite the possibility of Kane reuniting with his former Spurs boss in Manchester.

Chelsea were interested in Haaland but ended up signing Romelu Lukaku for £97.5m from Inter Milan. However, Lukaku’s first season back at Stamford Bridge has been a disappointment and in December he gave an unsanctioned interview in which he talked about one day returning to Inter.

Lukaku was fined by Chelsea and subsequently apologised but Haaland’s probable availability adds an intriguing dimension to the Belgian’s future in west London.

A deal for Kane was always viewed as an unlikely prospect given the bitter rivalry between Tottenham and Chelsea but that did not deter the Blues from asking to be kept informed of his future plans last summer.

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