Harry Kane has not spoken about a transfer in ‘weeks’ and is ignoring Tottenham managerial search

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·6-min read
Harry Kane has not spoken about a transfer in ‘weeks’ and is ignoring Tottenham managerial search
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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

If Harry Kane steps up to take a penalty against Germany on Tuesday he will shut out the noise of 45,000 fans inside Wembley and trust in the process.

“Once I put the ball on the spot, I’m in the same practice mode that I’ve gone through hundreds if not thousands of times,” he says, sitting a picnic table at England’s St George’s Park headquarters.

A parasol emblazoned with the Three Lions is sheltering him from the June rain. He looks and sounds relaxed.

Forget the fact that Manchester City are putting together a bid that would make him the most expensive English footballer of all time.

Forget that his current club’s search for a new manager is lurching from one name to another as Tottenham scroll through their phonebook for potential candidates.

Forget, too, that the winner of the Golden Boot at the last World Cup is three games into the Euros, yet to score and with only one shot on target to his name.

Kane’s form and role in the England team has become a national obsession at these finals. He has looked off the pace and disconnected from his teammates on the pitch.

While he has not be the subject of serious criticism, his lack of goal threat is a major concern due to his status as the talisman of Gareth Southgate’s team – and the man who carries the hopes of the nation more than any other player in the England squad.

In that sense, his words on Friday, were comforting. He believes he will peak in the knockout stages, as opposed to the World Cup where his energy levels dipped as the tournament progressed.

England, he insists, are his sole focus to the point that his agent has not spoken to him about his proposed Spurs departure for “weeks”.

And, as for concerns about his form, he will just trust in the process that has seen him establish himself as arguably the best striker in the world.

“It’s definitely not the first time people have doubted me in my career, that’s for sure,” says Kane. “That’s part and parcel of it. I’ve said all along as a striker you go through some great spells where you are scoring every game and everything you touch turns into goals.

“And then there are some where things don’t fall your way, the keeper makes some saves and that’s probably the way it’s gone in this tournament so far.

“I know, especially the first two games, I could have probably played better. For me it is about trying to peak at the right time and the right time in tournament football is the knockout stages.

“I feel good, I feel sharp. I felt good, definitely, in the third game. This training week is going to be great and hopefully I can come into my best form into the knockout stage and that will help the team.

“I thought the third game was a tough game, but I felt a lot better. I felt I had a lot more involvement in the game, not just with the ball, but without the ball and holding it up, helping the team in that aspect.

“People are quick to change their mind, it wasn’t too long ago when I won the Golden Boot and I was the best thing in the world. People were raving about you and that’s why I’ve always said, as a footballer, you can’t get too high or too low, you just have to have than neutral mode. Self-belief is a huge thing.

“I’ve always believed in myself. I could go 10, 15 games without scoring, but give me a chance and I’d back myself to score it.”

Kane adds: “Going into Tuesday night, physically, I’m in the best shape of the tournament so far, and that’s what I kind of wanted going into this. I felt maybe in Russia I started on fire, scored loads of goals, then maybe didn’t have my best performances in the most important games, the quarters and the semi-finals.

“So coming into this, physically, I wanted to make sure I was peaking at the right time and obviously we won’t know until Tuesday night if that’s the case, but the way I feel, that’s the way I feel it’s going.”

Kane dropped a pre-tournament bombshell when he revealed that he was ready leave Spurs in search of major trophies.

City are leading the race for his signature, this week making their first moves. Manchester United and Chelsea also want the 27-year-old.

Kane is represented by his brother, Charlie, and insists transfer talk has been put to one side, while he has completely shut out the circus of Spurs’ managerial search, which has seen Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso all come and go as targets.

“I feel like when I come away with England I’m just fully focused on England,” he says. “My brother is my agent, but the only time I’ve spoke to my brother really over the last few weeks is ‘Good luck, let’s get a win, and let’s take England all the way.’

“So, yeah, it doesn’t really bother me about the outside noise. When I’m here I’m with the boys, I try to help the boys, be a leader in the team. I need to get to know the boys, see what makes certain players tick, and the younger lads, helping them. So I feel like I’ve got enough on my plate to worry about anything outside of England.

“That’s where I’m at, and of course I feel like it’s one of them where if you’re not scoring as a striker, people look for every little angle why you’re not scoring and that’s probably the case in this tournament so far. But as long as I’m focused, I’ve got the self-belief I have, I’m not worried about anyone else.”

But seriously – how could he not be aware of the goings on at Spurs?

“If I’m totally honest I don’t really read anything, no media,” he says.

Social media?

“Not really. The only thing I normally go on is Instagram and I don’t really see anything on there. That’s just more pictures and things like that.

“That’s just the brutal honesty. I just keep myself to myself, I watch my series. I’m with the boys playing pool or table tennis. I just try to stay away from it all.

“The most important thing is about us as a group and us as a staff and as a nation and when you are in these tournament modes, sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with other stuff, but the experience I’ve had in the last few tournaments, is just to focus on this and do what you can in the moment and leave no regrets.”

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