Harry Kane hasn’t just issued a ‘come and get me’ plea to prospective buyers this summer, he’s told them: ‘I’m coming’.
Kane can’t have made it any clearer that he wants to leave Tottenham, by telling Gary Neville that he plans to sit down with his chairman Daniel Levy and negotiate his exit from Spurs.
He laid out his reasons – namely that Spurs can’t challenge for the silverware he wants to lift – and outlined what he wants from his next club, telling whoever that may be that he feels he has eight more years of improvement in his legs.
“I want to be playing in the biggest games. The biggest moments,” Kane said in the interview released yesterday that will send shockwaves through North London and further north.
“Like, this season I’m there watching the Champions League, watching the English teams in there doing amazing. They are the games that I want to be involved in. I want to be in them games. So for sure, it’s a moment in my career where I have to kind of reflect and see where I’m at and have a good, honest conversation with the chairman. I hope that we can have that conversation.”
Reports of Kane’s decision to leave Spurs began at the weekend, and now there can be no doubt of their truth. If there was speculation linking him to Manchester City or Manchester United among others before, expect that noise to be amplified after the England captain spelled out his thinking so brutally.
Some reports say Kane has identified City as the club who can really satisfy his desire to win trophies and play in the biggest games. Going off his criteria in his chat with Neville, City can certainly offer Kane everything he says he wants.
“I don’t want to have come to the end of my career and have any regrets,” he said. “So, I want to be the best that I can be.
“I’m at that stage where you could say, you know. People might look at it as ‘He’s desperate for trophies, he needs trophies’. I still feel like I’ve still got almost another career to play. I’ve got another seven or eight years. Kind of what I’ve had so far in the Premier League.
“So I’m not, I’m not rushing anything. I’m not desperate to do anything, but yeah, I just want to be the best version of me. I feel like for sure I’ve got so much more to give. I feel like I can be even better than what I’ve been. I can produce better numbers than what I’m producing at the moment.”
With three Premier League titles in the last four years, as well as an FA Cup and four Carabao Cups, it’s easy to see why Kane would look to City if trophies is his main motivation. He’ll have seen Kyle Walker leave Spurs, win everything domestically at City, and potentially go one further than Spurs did in 2019 by adding a Champions League medal by the end of the month.
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Kane says he looks enviously at City (and Chelsea) for their run to the Champions League final, in comparison to Spurs’ final-day battle to scrape into the Europa League, or drop into the new Conference League. They might not even get that, while City will lift the title having secured another season of Champions League football weeks ago.
So clearly, if Kane wants those big games, City, United or Chelsea will be his best avenue in the Premier League. If he wants a good chance of playing in the latter stages, City emerge as a better option than their rivals.
But it’s the declaration that he wants to get even better, recording an even better return of goals and assists, that will impress any interested bosses at the Etihad.
Raheem Sterling regularly talks about improving on his previous season’s return as his yearly motivation, while Pep Guardiola has a proven record of taking great players and making them better. Look at Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Walker, Sterling and most of the current squad at City.
With Kane one assist clear of Bruno Fernandes and two ahead of De Bruyne in the race to win the Playmaker Award this season, and level with Mo Salah for the Golden Boot, whoever signs him would get a player at the top of his game. If, as he says, he has eight years ahead of him, that requires 12 goals a season to overtake Alan Shearer’s all-time record in the Premier League.
Given the chances City create, Kane’s brilliance in the box, and what appears to be an aligned ambition to win everything and continually improve, it seems like a match made in heaven.
That doesn’t guarantee a transfer, and Daniel Levy is hardly going to let Kane leave in as straightforward a manner as the striker makes out on the golf course with Gary Neville.
But if City had any doubts over Kane’s motivation for wanting to leave Spurs, they got their answer yesterday. His ambitions are exactly the same as City’s – and unlike Spurs, City are in a position to help him achieve those dreams.