It’s over. After everything — the “gentleman’s agreement,” the golf course interview with Gary Neville, the leaked gossip column in the Sun, and months and months of interminable speculation over his future, Harry Kane has formally stated that he will stay at Tottenham Hotspur past this summer’s transfer window, ending his public and messy attempts to force a transfer to Manchester City.
It was incredible to see the reception from the Spurs fans on Sunday and to read some of the messages of support I've had in the last few weeks. ⚽— Harry Kane (@HKane) August 25, 2021
I will be staying at Tottenham this summer and will be 100% focused on helping the team achieve success. #COYS pic.twitter.com/uTN78tHlk1
Kane’s tweet comes after multiple reports suggesting that Manchester City were both refusing to offer anything close to what Spurs chairman Daniel Levy wanted for a potential Kane transfer fee, and that Levy was beating back any approach from City at all. Spurs have held a consistent and hard line over Kane’s sale all summer long, saying publicly that he was not for sale at any price, though negotiations burbled along all summer and even stretching in the tail end of last season. The most recent reports suggested the touted £100m bid for Kane was in fact misleading, with City in fact offering £75m + £25m in performance-related add-ons.
So that’s it. Saga ended, at least for now. Kane now faces the daunting prospect of winning back the sizable percentage of Tottenham fans that he badly burned and alienated throughout his and his agent-brother Charlie’s hamfisted PR attempts to force a move. But for the segment of supporters who consistently backed Kane, it’s already looking like it’s easy to forgive and move on.
Me, I’m still mad. I may have been wrong about Kane completely burning his bridges at Spurs (though I still maintain he was attempting to do so), but this statement and tepid recommital to Tottenham still doesn’t sit well with me. Notably, Kane’s statement does not include an apology of any kind for his and his brother’s behavior and complicity in this whole saga, nor does he provide any sort of context for his decision. It’s just “I’m staying, thanks to everyone who supported me.”
And that really sticks in my craw. Sure, he says he’s going to be professional and give everything to the club while he’s here, and that’s great, but it’s emphatically, crystal clear that he no longer wants to be here and, at least based on present evidence, isn’t ready to confront the personally damaging actions that led him to this point. He doesn’t even address his critics, and those who felt hurt and betrayed by his amateurish attempts to leave the club he’s been at since boyhood. Until he does so, he should not expect the warmest of welcomes back into the fold from fans like me.
Incidentally, this also will mark the end of my series of Kane-Falling-Over header photos, at least for now. I told myself when I started this (petty, hilarious) small protest that I’d continue it until the saga ended, one way or the other. Now it has. Probably good, since I was starting to run out of photos.
Harry Kane is the best striker in England and his presence immediately makes Tottenham a better team. With him, Spurs have a much better chance of returning to the top four and a Champions League place next season than they did without him, and it’s likely that if he continues to score goals and win points for Spurs that much of the past few months will be papered over. However, the hard work to win back fans like me begins now, and could swiftly come undone in January or next summer if he again agitates for a departure from Tottenham.
He’s One of Our Own again. At least for now.