Kane avoids Neville trap with brave decision: Ange, Bayern and huge Spurs wage wait in the wings

Matt Stead
Spurs striker Harry Kane reacts with frustration
Spurs striker Harry Kane reacts with frustration after missing a chance

After playing all the wrong cards in 2021, Bayern Munich transfer target Harry Kane knows he is in a position of immense power at Spurs and around the world.

 

March 2015 was the most important month in the career of Harry Kane. It included his first Premier League hat-trick, scored against Leicester. It featured his first final, a defeat in the League Cup to Chelsea. It brought his first international cap and, with his first touch, the first of his zero goals for England in a Euro 2016 qualifying victory over Lithuania.

It also heralded the start of popular YouTube talk show Hot Ones: pioneers of the current mini-craze of disarming famous people during interviews by getting them to eat chicken; and an ambitious checkpoint for CK66’s latest harebrained escape plan.

At least that is how some are disingenuously selling it, despite knowing full well that if an earnest discussion with Gary Neville over the most agonisingly slow round of golf ever played did not persuade Daniel Levy to embrace Manchester City’s lowballing in 2021, a light-hearted chat with Sean Evans while devouring incrementally spicier buffalo wings probably isn’t going to have a substantial impact on Bayern Munich’s hopes of signing Kane two years later.

There will be no cryptic transfer hints or ground-breaking future revelations, no official announcements or ultimatums issued. There should be plenty of discussion about Ange Postecoglou’s use of inverted full-backs, a high press and fluid systems in and out of possession, and perhaps a plug for brother and agent Charlie’s tireless work behind the scenes, if not a plea for more potential clients to come forward.

But if this is how Kane wants to formally celebrate Antonio Conte’s sauce ban being lifted then so be it; the results will be intriguing, no matter how inevitably media-trained and tame.

The Spurs striker has earned the chance to pick his moments and his platforms to speak carefully and candidly. Kane steadily increasing his presence in the States, appearing on Good Morning America in May to help promote his mental health foundation before setting up this latest gig, is no coincidence. His post-football ambition to pursue a career as an NFL kicker is public knowledge and there is no shame in trying to establish a more global image.

The mistake would be to use this as another vehicle to try and manoeuvre a way out of Spurs but the striker learned painful lessons two years ago. It is no exaggeration to suggest that the situation was handled so clumsily then – starting with the Neville interview and taking in a laughable Sun exclusive, stories fed so transparently they ought to have come with Charlie Kane’s byline, and crossed wires over skipped training sessions – that it actually helped strengthen Levy’s resolve to keep his most prized asset.

It was during that talk with Neville that Kane explained how he was “ultimately” in control of his own future, which does rather beg the question as to why he has chosen to spend the subsequent two years breaking new ground in terms of thankless goalscoring when he could have simply left to win some trophies somewhere for a bit.

READ MORE: Oh, brother: Kane and agent have made a right mess of this

Kane is finally approaching the point at which he has total agency over his environment for the first time since he signed a six-year contract with no release clause in 2018. There is a reason he was described by two favourable outlets as keeping an ‘open mind’ about his future on Tuesday evening. One path leads to a new challenge and greater chance of silverware in 12 months, while the other promises £400,000 a week and the Premier League scoring record. There is no wrong answer, nor one which wouldn’t be scoffed at and mocked by rival supporters.

Ahead of his first meeting with Postecoglou on Wednesday and the airing of his brave venture outside the sporting bubble on Thursday as the first footballer to face the Scovilles, Kane’s stock has never been higher. It might not be the biggest month of his professional life, but it could well be the most transformative week.