Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is apparently prepared to (again) be amongst the least popular people at the club.
Levy will reportedly sanction the sale of Harry Kane for just under $250 million due to financial concerns at the club and controversial comments from the star striker regarding his Spurs future and the current season.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
The reporter putting his name on it is Joe Bernstein, who claims that Spurs are on the hook for nearly $900 million between stadium costs and transfer fees, and that “Levy is understood to have been furious at Kane’s recent comments that the Premier League season should be voided if it wasn’t completed by the end of June.”
Levy has been under fire this week for become one of a few clubs using government furloughs for its staff.
Normally, we’d dismiss reports like these instantly, but the current coronavirus pandemic climate yields new discussions.
Kane refused to rule out a Spurs exit during an interview with Jamie Redknapp last month, but Levy was reportedly exasperated by the voided season comments the striker proffered later in the discussion. Levy believes a voided season would hurt the club’s financials in a big way.
A Kane exit would lead to a cacophony of criticism and contemplation in the football world. For one thing, Kane turns 27 this summer and has eight or more Premier League games in three of his last four seasons.
He’s also 87 of his 136 career PL goals in that time, building a center forward resume paralleled by few in English football history.
There is no question about his skill set, either, as Kane has buried goals in the Champions League at a strong pace, too. The Englishman has 20 goals in his last 24 UCL outings.
Selling Kane would also instantly and (mostly) incorrectly be compared to Spurs sending Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, mostly because of the ineffective way the North Londoners spent the massive haul of money. This is a different situation and scenario, which approach in short order.
Spurs received more than $100 million for Bale in 2013 and bought seven players that summer. Christian Eriksen became a star and Erik Lamela has been a contributor when healthy, but Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, and Nacer Chadli were either busts or better elsewhere (The club also sold Jermain Defoe, Clint Dempsey, and Scott Parker amongst others that summer).
Why is it different, besides the players? Spurs are supposed to have advanced in its project by now, becoming a routine top four finisher in addition to reaching last season’s Champions League Final and building a new stadium which looked to be the springboard to strengthened financial footing.
That’s why there’s a word of caution in dismissing the report or the idea that Levy would want to make budgetary moves to stabilize the club. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are a monumental concern for the majority of clubs, and will hit some harder than others.
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is among a crowd that believes big-fee transfer purchases will sink this summer, with some clubs will be antsy to sell.
Kane is in a class of players who would test this theory, with Leroy Sane and Jadon Sancho others who would’ve easily been nine-figure players in the current market. They still may be — Sancho is a unique and perhaps generational case — but we’ll soon discover what’s hysteria and what’s very real.