Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has sought to mark out his territory in the face of Real Madrid's interest in striker Harry Kane. The Spurs chief took advantage of his visit to the Premier League club's new stadium, which is currently under construction, to signal his intention to play hardball with any would-be suitors planning moves to sign his stars. "I'm 100% confident that every single player we want to keep, I can assure you will be playing for Tottenham Hotspur next season," he told Sky Sports.
Levy has track record of playing hardball with Real Madrid
Levy once again stands in the way of Real Madrid. Los Blancos have previously seen the Tottenham supremo, who has earned a reputation as a tough negotiator, prove no pushover in the signings of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale from the North London club. Despite both players' attempts to force through their moves to the Santiago Bernabéu, Levy refused to relent until he had extracted the highest possible fee from Real, who ended up forking out 30 million euros (plus five in add-ons) for Modric, and a then-world-record 101 million for Bale. Real's interest in Kane has seen Levy's guard go up.
Spurs aiming to tie Kane down in face of Real interest
Kane is among the players on Real Madrid's list of targets for next season. The England international, whose Tottenham contract runs until 2022, finished 2017 as the calendar year's top scorer - ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - with a total of 56 goals for club and country. Real are keeping close tabs on the 24-year-old's exploits; a state of affairs that his current employers are well aware of, and that has prompted plans to tie him down to improved terms. According to reports in the UK, Spurs are to offer Kane a new contract worth 12 million euros a year - double what he presently earns.
Pochettino has left door open to Kane exit
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has been asked about Kane's future several times this season. Having insisted he would never sell a player like Kane, he did leave the door open to a future exit - should he demand to leave - in a recent interview. "If you look at it from the personal side," he told El Chiringuito de Jugones, "if the player asked to go like Modric or Bale, we would have to see but as of today that has not happened." Real's planning for 2018/19 is largely dependent on the upcoming Champions League knockout stages: a last-16 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain would spark a mini-overhaul in the summer, with Kane's name circled in red.
Which is why Levy is already getting his claws out and at the ready...