Gareth Southgate backs Harry Kane to use failed Man City move as England motivation

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Gareth Southgate backs Harry Kane to use failed Man City move as England motivation
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England manager Gareth Southgate says Harry Kane's failure to secure a move to Manchester City this summer could motivate him to reach new heights for the national team.

Kane announced he was staying at Tottenham on Wednesday, bringing to a close the summer's biggest transfer saga 24 hours before Southgate named his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Southgate says it is no concern that Kane will not be playing Champions League football in the build-up to Qatar 2022, and insists transfer sagas between clubs are not his concern.

Asked if he would rather Kane was playing for a Champions League club, Southgate said: "We have had four or five players around our team in the summer who had played no European football in their lives: Jordan Pickford, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish.

"Of course, you want your players in those big competitions but it doesn’t mean you can’t go into an international tournament and play at a fantastic level as those other players did.

"Their club situations are what they are. Whatever goes on at players' clubs can sometimes give them motivation when away with us, sometimes they can come back off a final they have lost and have to deal with it. We are very much used to that.

"I don’t know if there’s any other players who are on the move before we meet but that’s often the case.

“Harry’s situation is settled and it looks like he is going to be a Tottenham player and that’s fantastic for Tottenham especially.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"[Transfers are] between the players and their clubs really. It's not really any of my business as an international manager.

"When players are coming back from injury or whether they are involved in transfer speculation, whatever their form may be, they are the bits we have to pick up."

Kane will be joined in Southgate's squad for the matches against Hungary, Andorra and Poland by Leeds striker Patrick Bamford, who has earned his first senior call-up ahead of Danny Ings and Manchester United's Mason Greenwood.

"I think his progress with Leeds has been excellent," Southgate said. "He was very, very close at the end of last season with us, and this is a good chance for him to come back in. We know him from U-21 level so we know him anyway, and it’s a fabulous moment for him and his family.”

Greenwood, who pulled out of the provisional Euros squad through injury, was not selected, despite starting the season with two goals in as many games for United.

Southgate said Greenwood's performances warranted a place in the squad but revealed he had agreed with United and the teenager that the time was not right for a senior call-up.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

"He is in our thoughts, very much," Southgate said. "I've spoken with him and his club. He's a player I really like and we think he's got every possibility to be a top player for England.

"We're all very conscious that we make that progression at the right time. He's just breaking into the team at Manchester United with a lot of responsibility. That's a big thing for a young player to deal with and we want to get that progression with our seniors as well as we possibly can so we get the best possible player at the end.

"We're all aligned with that: Mason, the club, his family, us. And we feel at the moment, after these first few games, is he stays with his club. But he's very much a player we like but it's clear with his performances at the moment he would warrant being in the squad."

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nick Pope returned to the squad after missing the Euros through injury, while Jesse Lingard earned a call-up despite limited game-time for United at the start of the season.

"He's a player who for these games in particular knows how we play," Southgate said of Lingard. "He can fit into the team and can play 7, 11, 8, 10. Although we'd be normally looking at moves like Patrick, looking at someone new, Jesse although he hasn't had the game time this season we're only two games into the season. The way he was with us in the summer, we know the level he's capable of."

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