In a situation that nobody could have possibly seen coming except for human beings who might at least mildly follow Tottenham Hotspur, we have gotten our first thinkpiece article suggesting Harry Kane is considering leaving the club. And that thinkpiece’s author? You guessed it, it’s Matt Law writing in the Telegraph.
I could go on for several paragraphs about why Law writing what amounts to an opinion piece about why Kane should leave Spurs is the most laughably predictable outcome from this latest spell of Tottenham mediocrity, but if you’re like me you expected this and doing so would be picking the lowest-hanging of all possible fruit. And the weird part is... he’s probably not wrong about it this time.
Law writes that those close to Kane suggest he’d only consider signing a new contract this spring if Spurs either qualify for Champions League again this season, or win a trophy (in this case either the Champions League or the FA Cup). Indeed the FA Cup is shaping up to be a tournament that is bending moderately in Spurs’ favor, with a number of Premier League clubs drawn against each other in the early rounds and Spurs drawn against Championship side Preston North End in the fourth round.
But Spurs have won only three of their last nine league matches heading into tomorrow’s trip to Manchester City, Antonio Conte still refuses to commit his future to the club, and the current mood amongst the fanbase can only be described as “mutinous.” On current form, fresh off of a thumping from Arsenal at home in the North London Derby, the prospects of facing the defending champions twice in 17 days along with a resurgent Fulham at Craven Cottage are putting into sharp focus just how much trouble Spurs — and Conte! — are in.
It’s long been surmised that Kane’s future is tied to that of Antonio Conte, and if Conte either doesn’t stay or is (gasp) fired, would it surprise anyone if Kane were to try and leave Spurs this summer? He’s in a very different situation now than he was two season ago when he and his brother Charlie attempted to engineer a sale to Manchester City. Kane has a great deal more leverage now with just over a year left on his contract, and weirdly his list of potential suitors has grown. Law notes that City has signed Haaland and could be unlikely to spend for what it would take to purchase Kane, and that Manchester United may decide not to make a play as he’s not an obvious fit for the tactics of Erik ten Hag. That leaves Chelsea (Todd Boehly apparently was interested in signing Kane last summer) and Newcastle as Premier League destinations, or he could opt to head to Germany as Bayern Munich have a longstanding admiration for him, though doing so would mean giving up on the possibility of catching Alan Shearer’s goal record.
None of this is new, of course — we’ve been alluding to it in articles and in the comment sections on this website for months now. If you’re of the opinion that the Big Club Win Now method that Daniel Levy has adopted since the sacking of Pochettino hasn’t worked, selling Kane and reinvesting those funds into whatever comes next might be the smart play. But that move certainly wouldn’t be endearing to large swaths of the Tottenham faithful, and there are now serious doubts as to whether this current crop of Tottenham leadership is up to that challenge.
In the end there are really only three outcomes, two of which involve Kane eventually leaving the club — either he commits and signs a new contract that takes him into his 30s, Spurs sell him for whatever they can get this summer, or he winds down his contract and leaves on a Bosman in June 2024. No amount of thinkpieces on Kane’s future changes that calculus, but it won’t prevent journalists (and, honestly, all of us) from discussing it until more becomes clear.