Harry Kane thought he had entered a game of poker with Daniel Levy, but the Tottenham chief was NEVER even at the table… here’s how the England captain lost in his bid to join Manchester City – SPECIAL REPORT
- Harry Kane has confirmed he will not leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer
- The England captain has made no secret of his desire to leave north London
- However, Daniel Levy has stood firm in resolutely snubbing Man City’s advances
- Kane will now remain at Spurs this season, with plenty of questions remaining
We all believed this would develop into a tense game of poker. Harry Kane versus Daniel Levy; who would blink first?
The problem was, Tottenham’s chairman didn’t have any cards in his hand. He wasn’t even at the table. In Levy’s mind, Kane was never leaving the north London club this summer, certainly not for Manchester City.
Levy knew how his star striker felt. He knew he wanted out. He knew Kane felt the club had failed to match his ambitions. Levy knew everything was in place for him to join Manchester City.
Harry Kane entered a game of poker with Daniel Levy, but the Spurs chief was not at the table
He just didn’t care. Kane wasn’t for sale — and that was that.
So, when Kane confirmed he was staying at Spurs through his short statement on Twitter on Wednesday, it may have taken the rest of the football fraternity by surprise. But not Levy.
Kane, unquestionably, will continue giving 100 per cent to a club he holds so dear.
His desire to leave for the Etihad had nothing to do with money — although sources on Wednesday indicated that his wages at Manchester City could have reached as much as £500,000 a week all in.
After a turbulent summer, Kane accepted that he will remain a Tottenham player this season
The England captain made no secret of his desire for a new challenge as he seeks silverware
It wasn’t that he didn’t love Tottenham any more, but that he wanted to be a winner and he couldn’t see that happening at Spurs. This was always a matter of ambition, not emotion.
When Kane left a meeting with Levy before the 2020-21 season, he believed Tottenham would agree to sell him if they failed to qualify for the Champions League or win a trophy during the campaign.
Tottenham ended the season empty-handed and their Champions League exile remained, and Kane believed Levy had broken a promise. The Spurs chief’s recollection of those talks during the summer of 2020 will have been entirely different.
Indeed, it is understood Levy would have agreed to sell Kane this summer but only abroad. Selling him to a domestic rival? No chance.
Kane was of the view that he had a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Levy over an exit this window
The problem for England’s captain was that there was never any concrete interest from overseas this summer. Perhaps pre-Covid there would have been.
Barcelona have a long-standing interest in Kane — but are broke.
Real Madrid are also big admirers but are fixed on signing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain. So it was the Premier League or bust for Kane and we now know it’s bust.
City’s first offer, which Sportsmail revealed earlier this week as being only worth a guaranteed £75million (a further £25m in add-ons), immediately got Levy’s back up.
However, Levy has firmly refused to sell his star player to domestic rivals Manchester City
The north Londoners have also felt underwhelmed by the seriousness of City’s approaches
History tells us that Levy isn’t a man to rile. It is understood Spurs are unimpressed with the way City have gone about their pursuit of Kane.
Indeed, even up until Wednesday Tottenham sources were adamant City had failed to make a formal offer for Kane, causing many to question whether the champions were truly serious about such an expensive signing.
Levy wasn’t overly enamoured with Kane’s conduct, either.
From his interview with Gary Neville before the Euros, in which he made clear his intention to leave, to his decision to skip the start of his pre-season schedule — though the player insists he did not refuse to train — Levy was disappointed with the way the entire matter has been handled.
Spurs chiefs have also been left unimpressed with the conduct of Kane (pictured with brother and adviser Charlie Kane)
Kane’s immediate future is settled, but there remain plenty of questions for the England star
So what happens now? Well, Tottenham have managed to hang on to a player who provides them with the best chance of breaking back into the top four.
Who knows, a successful season and Kane could have a change of heart. Could there even be a new contract? He has just under three years left to run on his existing deal signed in 2018.
Potentially, though, you would imagine any new contract for Kane would include a written release clause — and a hefty pay rise to boot.
All that will come out in the wash. And when it does, Levy will be there calling the shots.
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