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Pep Guardiola confirms City interest in Harry Kane, but downplays its likelihood

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You might have heard, but Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane have a mutual affection for each other. Kane has been playing hard ball to try and force a transfer to City this summer by any means necessary, despite City playing coy, crying poverty, and generally trying to low-ball potential offers.

Tottenham have always held a consistent line on any approach for Kane: he’s not available, at any price. Nobody actually believes that line — every player has a price — but it’s very, very clear that Spurs have no intention of getting rolled on the best striker in England who still has three years remaining on a six year contract.

Now, one day after City completed a £100m transfer for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish — now the Premier League’s largest-ever transfer for a UK player — Pep Guardiola finally broke his silence over the Kane transfer saga in a press conference.

You’re probably not going to like what he had to say.

“[Kane is] a player for Tottenham Hotspur and if Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it’s finished.

“If they are open to negotiate then not only Man City, many clubs in the world want to sign him, we are not an exception. It depends on Tottenham.

“Jack [Grealish] was different, he had a release clause and he is different. Harry Kane is an exceptional, extraordinary striker, no doubts about that. Of course we are interested in him but he is a Tottenham player and if they don’t want to negotiate, nothing more to say and if they want it we will try, that’s all.”

I really appreciate how two weeks ago Pep was all “we can’t afford Harry Kane, it’s impossible,” and now he’s like “Well, we WOULD make an offer for Harry Kane, but Spurs are being totally unreasonable.” It’s one of those things, along with the whole “Harry Kane team” from a couple years ago, that makes me just really really dislike this guy.

Now, I do have real doubts about whether City are serious about making an approach for Kane after the Grealish deal, and considering that there’s now some free agent guy named Leo Messi in the wild. It’s quite possible that what Pep’s saying here is technically accurate, even if we all know that City Financial Group could pay the £160m required to sign Kane literally today.

This is far from over, of course, and won’t be until the last day of the transfer window. But it does make you think — if City are seemingly pulling back from a Kane approach, either to chase Messi or just because they’re cooling their interest, where does that leave Harry? Presumably still at Tottenham, and with a bunch of half-burned bridges.