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Athletic: Harry Kane fails to report to training again, but will return by end of the week

Striker describes outcry from missing training as “overreaction” but the damage may already be done.

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH62-CRO-ENG Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

For the second straight day, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has not reported to training as instructed. This move is a continuation of yesterday’s surprise absence from mandatory testing at Tottenham’s training center, one that caused a fan uproar, led to a “disappointed” Spurs leadership, and a fine of two weeks’ wages levied on Kane for his failure to appear.

Kane is reportedly unhappy with Tottenham apparently reneging on a “gentleman’s agreement” to sell him this summer if the club didn’t win any trophies, and desires a transfer to Manchester City. However, according to an article by Charlie Eccleshire in The Athletic (£), Kane is planning on returning to training by the end of the week, thought his absence had been communicated fully to the club, and considers the outroar from his absence to be “blown out of proportion.”

Lurking behind all of this are Manchester City, who have at various points during the summer ludicrously said that they can’t afford an approach for Harry Kane, but also just submitted a £100m bid for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish that is likely to be accepted. The Athletic claims that while Tottenham’s position is that Harry Kane is not for sale at any price and particularly not to a Premier League club, City have expressed a willingness to pay as high a bid as £130m to pry Kane out of North London.

City may or may not have formally submitted a bid for Kane, but the background reporting indicated that the not-bid was a players-plus-cash bid that totalled £100m, a figure that Daniel Levy would almost certainly reject out of hand. Signalling that they would be willing to up their bid to as high as £130m is certainly an improved potential offer, though the devil is in the details, and it’s likely Levy would continue to play hard-ball until the not-offer would reach a tipping point.

Assuming the £130m figure is accurate, I’m of the opinion that Spurs should cut bait on Kane now rather than letting this drag on and fester. Kane has already done significant damage to his goodwill among fans and with the club, and £130m would go a very long way towards rebuilding the squad during a COVID finance year.

No one can replace Harry Kane and any replacement(s) would be less than what Kane currently brings to the table, but the writing’s on the wall at this point — either Spurs end up with a lot of money and no Harry Kane, or then end up with an unhappy and potentially unmotivated Kane for at minimum until the January transfer window, at which point we have to go through this all over again. Everything else being equal, I’d rather take the money. Many other fans would disagree.