Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of ever re-signing Harry Kane rest on two key factors – including whether the striker would agree to work for chairman Daniel Levy again.
Levy this week answered a question from a Spurs supporter on whether or not there was a buy-back clause in Kane’s deal to join Bayern Munich by saying, with a chuckle: “Of course.”
But Telegraph Sport understands that the clause is actually a first option agreement that would put Tottenham at the front of the queue of Premier League clubs to sign Kane as long as Bayern agreed to sell him and the player wanted to return to Spurs.
It is also believed there is no fixed fee in the agreement, meaning Tottenham would still have to negotiate a price with Bayern for Kane.
Rival clubs would be able to enter the race for Kane if Tottenham could not agree a deal with Bayern or if the England captain preferred a move elsewhere.
While there was surprise Levy confirmed the existence of a clause, there is acknowledgment that he was backed into a corner by the nature of the question and gave as little detail as possible to protect confidentiality.
Kane’s representatives declined to comment on Levy’s response on the clause, the nature of the agreement or the possibility of him returning to Spurs in the future.
Levy may need to build bridges for Kane to consider return
But, while Tottenham and the club’s supporters retain a special place in Kane’s heart, relations with Levy may need to be smoothed over before he would consider working for him again.
As revealed by Telegraph Sport, Kane was barred from Tottenham’s training ground in the hours before completing his £100 million move to Bayern and the player’s family did not access their personal suite at the stadium to retrieve their belongings.
As he waited to fly to Munich while Tottenham finalised the transfer with Bayern, Kane communicated a desire to train in preparation for the club’s first game of the season against Brentford.
But Kane was verbally told it would not be appropriate for him to return to the training ground at that time, which was then reiterated in writing via an email, which meant he said no personal goodbyes and had his possessions sent on to him, as did his family.
While the club have insisted Kane is always welcome back and that he was not given any lasting ban, relations became strained ahead of his exit and have not yet been fully repaired despite Spurs saying he and Levy have communicated since Kane’s move.
Tottenham have completely dismissed any suggestion that Kane could have been warned by Levy he would not play for the club this season had he run down the final year of his contract, insisting the chairman would never interfere in team decisions.
Levy: Spurs made mistakes with Mourinho and Conte
During his first appearance at a fans forum in over five years, Levy reiterated the fact there are no hard feelings on his part towards Kane and that he is welcome back to the club and the stadium any time.
Levy also appeared to express regret over hiring former head coaches Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, who he described as “trophy managers”.
Asked what he learned from Mourinho and Conte, Levy said: “Erm. Maybe you’ll be surprised by my answer, but I want to win as much as everybody else, but the frustration of not winning and the pressure from, maybe some players and from a large element of the fanbase, that we need to win, we need to spend money, we need to have a big manager, we need to have a big name and it affected me.
“I had gone through a period where we’d almost won. With Mauricio [Pochettino], we went through some very good times. We didn’t quite get there but we came very close and we had a change in strategy.
“The strategy was ‘let’s bring in a trophy manager’. We did it twice and, look, you have to learn from your mistakes. They’re great managers, but maybe not for this club. For what we want, we want to play in a certain way and if that means it has to take a little bit longer to win maybe it’s the right thing for us. That’s why bringing Ange [Postecoglou] in was, from my point of view, the right decision.”