HARRY KANE IS REAL AND TO REAL
It appears as though Harry Kane is real. Just ask the Stoke defence, who conceded Premier League goals No 23 and 24 to the Tottenham striker on Monday. Reigning Young Player of the Year Kane is in line to retain that crown, as well as the main award at the end of the season. And that is just from an individual perspective. His goals have helped Spurs close the gap to leaders Leicester to just five points with four games remaining.
Kane’s remarkable form of 58 goals in 97 games for Spurs has led to interest from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, according to the London Evening Standard. Tom Collomosse tells us that both European giants ‘have asked to be kept informed of his plans’. Strike us down if they don’t involve pizza and chips for tea, accompanied by an episode of Cash in the Attic.
Kane is ‘likely to be offered a new deal,’ it says, having signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract just over a year ago. The striker’s wages were upped to £50,000 with that deal. Perhaps Daniel Levy will boost it to £55,000?
With Real reportedly considering selling Karim Benzema in the summer – prepare for the Arsenal rumours – the Spanish club could well be interested in signing Kane as his replacement. But we simply cannot see the 22-year-old ever leaving White Hart Lane. It still doesn’t sit right.
GUNDOGAN TO CITY
In 2016, football reporting dictates that not confirming something is actually ‘refusing to deny’ it. If a manager is asked whether he has had an argument with a player and he gives a glib response which reveals absolutely nothing, outlets are legally obliged to report this as the manager ‘refusing to deny’ the claims.
Just ask the Manchester Evening News. According to reports in both England and Germany, Manchester City have ‘agreed a deal’ to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for around £30million. Bayern Munich manager and future City boss Pep Guardiola was asked on such reports earlier this week. The Spaniard replied: “I am the coach of Bayern Munich.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is a ‘refusal to deny’ scenario.
So when Thomas Tuchel was asked on the reports, and he gave this answer – “I can’t confirm the transfer. And shouldn’t it be the other way round? We have to announce it” – it was basically an admission that Gundogan has already bought a house in Manchester, looked around the Etihad and found himself lost in Jesus Navas’ eyes.
When Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc later added that “we are not interested in giving any water-level reports,” his ‘refusal to deny’ was palpable.
UNITED WANT TRIO
The Sun have some big Manchester United news for us. Duncan Wright reveals the three players Jose Mourinho will target when he becomes manager.
‘Renato Sanches, John Stones and Zlatan Ibrahimovic bids sanctioned by Jose Mourinho,’ reads the headline. Hold on, are those three not linked with a move to Old Trafford pretty much every other day. Is this just a news story because you have decided to put all three together and tell us the exact same thing everyone has been saying for weeks? Grand.
In this big scoop, Wright tells us that Sanches and Ibrahimovic ‘are in the club’s sights’, while Jose Mourinho wants to sign John Stones. Which is something that has been common knowledge since last summer. The £40million valuation of Benfica midfielder Sanches, the free-agent status of Ibrahimovic and the at least £50million bid required to sign Stones are all mentioned. None of this is new.
AND THE REST
Liverpool are ready to join the summer scramble for striker Michy Batshuayi…Manchester City are in pole position for John Stones as Everton face another battle to keep hold of the £40m defender…Chelsea are to step up their chase of Antoine Griezmann as the Blues refuse to give up on the Atletico Madrid forward…The Blues are also targeting Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster in a summer swoop as doubts continue over the Stamford Bridge future of Thibaut Courtois…Liverpool and Arsenal have an “80% chance” of signing Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, 23…Spain midfielder Juan Mata, 27, also faces an uncertain future at United – whoever his manager will be at Old Trafford next season…Tottenham are no longer interested in signing teenage Fulham striker Moussa Dembele, who was invited by Chelsea to watch their home game against Manchester City at the weekend…Michael Carrick has now been told the club do want to give him a new deal – but he will still have to wait until the Manchester United manager’s position is clarified.