We all thought this would turn into an exciting poker game. Harry Kane v Daniel Levy; who would blink first?
The problem was that the Tottenham chairman had no cards in his hand. He wasn’t even at the table. According to Levy, Kane never left the north London club this summer, especially for Manchester City.
Levy knew how his star striker felt. He knew he wanted out. He knew that Kane felt the club had failed to match his ambitions. Levy knew everything was in place to join Manchester City.
Harry Kane joined a game of poker with Daniel Levy, but the Spurs chief wasn’t at the table
He just didn’t care. Kane wasn’t for sale – and that was that.
So when Kane confirmed on Wednesday that he was staying with Spurs via his brief statement on Twitter, the rest of the football club may have been surprised. But not Levi.
Kane will no doubt continue to give 100 percent to a club so dear to him.
His desire to leave for the Etihad had nothing to do with money, although sources on Wednesday indicated that his wages at Manchester City all-in could have been as much as £500,000 a week.
After a turbulent summer, Kane has accepted that he will remain a Tottenham player this season
The English captain made no secret of his desire for a new challenge as he searched for silverware
It wasn’t that he didn’t love Tottenham anymore, but that he wanted to be a winner and he didn’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 continued, with Kane believing Levy had broken a promise. The Spurs chief’s memory of those summer 2020 talks will have been very different.
Indeed, it is clear that Levy would have agreed to sell Kane this summer, but only overseas. Sell him to a domestic rival? No chance.
Kane believed he had a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Levy about an exit out of this window
The problem for the England captain was that there was never any concrete interest from abroad this summer. Maybe there would have been pre-Covid.
Barcelona has long been interested in Kane, but is bankrupt.
Real Madrid are also big admirers but are determined to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain. So it was the Premier League of bust for Kane and we now know it’s bust.
The city’s first offer, that Sports post revealed earlier this week that it was only worth a guaranteed £75million (another £25million in add-ons), immediately got Levy back on his feet.
However, Levy has resolutely refused to sell his star player to domestic rivals Manchester City
North Londoners were also unimpressed by the seriousness of City’s approach
History tells us that Levy is not a man to get mad at. It is clear that the Spurs are unimpressed with the way City have handled their hunt for Kane.
Indeed, even until Wednesday, Tottenham sources were adamant that City had not made a formal offer for Kane, leaving many to question whether the champions were really serious about such an expensive purchase.
Levy wasn’t too fond of Kane’s behavior either.
From his pre-European Championship interview with Gary Neville, in which he made it clear that he intended to leave, to his decision to skip the start of his pre-season schedule – although the player insists he did not refuse to train – it was Levy disappointed with the way the whole thing was handled.
Spurs chiefs are also unimpressed with Kane’s behavior (pictured with brother and advisor Charlie Kane)
Kane’s near future is settled, but plenty of questions remain for the English star
So what’s going to happen now? Well, Tottenham have managed to keep a player who gives them the best chance of getting back into the top four.
Who knows, a successful season and Kane changes his mind. Could there be a new contract? He has just under three years left to continue his existing contract signed in 2018.
However, you might imagine that any new contract for Kane would include a written release clause — and a hefty pay raise to boot.
That all comes out in the wash. And if so, Levy will call the shots.