Tottenham: First six fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is facing a crucial summer as his search for Jose Mourinho’s successor continues – amid fears star striker Harry Kane has been “distracted” by transfer speculation. Kane has been hauled off in both England’s Euro 2020 games so far, having been linked with a move to either Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in the transfer window.
Kane struggled to make an impact as England were held to a 0-0 draw by Scotland in their second Group D clash, and was replaced by Marcus Rashford with more than 15 minutes remaining.
The striker had also been hooked after appearing to be isolated for much of the opening win over Croatia – and after Friday’s game, pundits Roy Keane, Graeme Souness and Ian Wright all agreed that Kane wasn’t looking himself.
Keane described the England captain as “a big problem” for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, saying on ITV: “Before the competition, there was all the talk of him might be leaving Spurs and maybe he’s been distracted by that because that can be an energy zapper.
“If you thinking you’re moving clubs or if you’re in talks with other clubs, that’s not helpful. Kane is a big problem.”
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Souness said Kane looked “a shadow of himself” saying: “Harry doesn’t look himself, he looks shady and looks tired.
“This is a guy who’s hoping to get a big move this summer, he needs to wake himself up. He came off in the first game, is he carrying something? Because he looks a shadow of himself.”
And Wright agreed, although he admitted that Kane wasn’t helped by a lack of chances created by England.
“I think it’s plain to see that he doesn’t look at his best,” said the former Arsenal striker.
“Let’s face it. You’re looking at the chances created, Reece James coming into the team, one of the best crossers from his position, hardly any crosses, not enough balls into the last third for people to play.”
Kane has given Southgate something to pinder ahead of England’s final group game against the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old’s struggles are not just an issue for England, but also for Tottenham, with Spurs chief Levy desperate to keep him at the club despite the talisman having signalled his desire to leave.
And if Kane’s head has been turned to such an extent that it is affecting his England performances, Levy will have a job convincing him to stay – especially as he is no closer to appointing a new manager.
Tottenham were rejected by Julian Nagelsmann, who opted to take over at Bayern Munich instead, while they also missed out on Brendan Rodgers.
Since then, they’ve attempted to hire Antonio Conte, Erik Ten Hag and Hansi Flick to no avail – with Pochettino, Fonseca and Gattuso also approached – all to no avail.
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News that Spurs had opened talks with Gattuso was met with a furious backlash from fans – and the former Milan, Napoli and Fiorentina boss will not be considered further.
So it’s back to the drawing board for Levy as he targets a replacement for Mourinho, who was sacked back in April in the run-up to the Carabao Cup final.
With Kane’s future still up in the air, appointing the club’s next manager could turn out to be be the most important decision he ever makes as Spurs chairman.
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