Harry Kane again failed to attend training with Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday but the England captain is expected back at the club later this week despite trying to force a big-money move to Premier League champions Manchester City, the London Evening Standard reported Tuesday.
Kane was due back at Tottenham’s training headquarters on Monday for a coronavirus test and a fitness assessment following his three-week holiday after Euro 2020 but did not show and the 28-year-old was not there on Tuesday either.
The Standard reported that Kane is said to believe the situation has been blown out of proportion, with the north London club Spurs now thought to be fully aware of his plans.
Tottenham, who ironically face Pep Guardiola’s team on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, have declined to comment about Kane’s absence.
Kane went public with his desire to leave Tottenham at the end of last season but has also remained silent this week.
He has grown frustrated at the club’s failure to win a major trophy since 2008, with their latest letdown coming in last season’s League Cup final defeat against Manchester City.
Kane believes he has a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Tottenham which allows him to move this year.
But with three years left on his contract, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has no intention of selling his club’s prized asset, who is valued at around £150 million ($208 million).
Kane has been in the Bahamas following England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.
With the top-flight season due to start on August 13, Kane appears to intend to push for a move.
It could be a rocky road for Kane if he steps up his demand to leave, with some Tottenham fans expressing their anger at his training ground snub on social media.
New Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo was reportedly assured Kane would not be sold during discussions before he took charge.
Nuno said last month that Kane could be “counted on” next season.
Senegalese forward Sadio Mane netted a goal on Thursday as Liverpool defeated Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspurs 1-3 to record their first win in the last six Premier League games.
The English champions had not even scored in their last four league games, but Jurgen Klopp said he recognised his side again as their front three sparked back into life after Roberto Firmino ended a 492-minute goalless drought in first-half stoppage time.
Kane had soldiered on after twice receiving treatment on ankle knocks in the first-half and was eventually replaced at the break with Jose Mourinho predicting the England captain will be absent for at least a few weeks.
“Two injuries in both ankles, the second one worst than the first one,” said Mourinho. “A few weeks, I don’t know for sure.
“There are some players you can’t replace. When it happens it happens, but I believe we have to fight against it, we cannot do anything else.”
Liverpool’s worst run in the league since 2017 had seen them slip from the top of the table to fifth before kick-off with Klopp admitting his first priority is now to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
But the German was delighted with the response from the Reds as they clicked back into gear, particularly after going in front.
“What I saw today it’s not about shape or form it’s about who we are. That was us, second half especially it was us,” said Klopp.
“Tonight we knocked a wall down – that’s good. It is easier to lose (confidence) that’s how it is, but it is possible to get it back as well. It is not a light you can switch on and off. You have to show it in the right moment.”
A return to the Champions League is also Spurs’ target in Mourinho’s first full season in charge, but Tottenham’s chances may now depend on how long Kane is sidelined.
Kane and Son Heung-min have been the most deadly duo in the Premier League this season and thought they had combined for the opening goal inside the first five minutes.
Son finished coolly from Kane’s through ball, but the South Korean had just strayed offside in the build-up and the goal was ruled out by a VAR review.
There were signs of life in Liverpool’s attacking play despite a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday and they created many more clear-cut chances than in recent weeks as Hugo Lloris twice denied Mane with excellent saves.
With Kane clearly hobbling, Tottenham were clinging on for half-time when Liverpool finally struck.
Sadio Mane got in behind and squared for Firmino to bundle in at the back post for his first goal in eight games.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s drop off in form has been another major part of Liverpool’s regression from the side that romped to the title last season with 99 points.
However, the England right-back connected sweetly to drill in his side’s second after Lloris could only parry Mane’s initial effort into his path.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s brilliant strike from outside the box halved the deficit just two minutes later.
Liverpool, though, rarely looked troubled after Kane departed and could have won far more convincingly.
Mohamed Salah’s powerful strike was ruled out after a VAR review for a handball by Firmino earlier in the move.
But Mane restored the two-goal cushion when he pounced on an error from Joe Rodon to fire high past Lloris.
Victory takes Liverpool back above West Ham, who they face on Sunday, into fourth.
Tottenham’s early season form saw them being touted as contenders for a first top-flight title in 60 years ahead of their last clash with Liverpool last month.
Now a run of just two wins in eight games has plummeted Mourinho’s men down to sixth, four points adrift of the top four.
Tottenham have been awarded a bye into the fourth round of the League Cup after their tie with Leyton Orient was called off on Tuesday following a spate of coronavirus cases at the League Two club.
Fourth-tier Orient tried to rearrange the game but League Cup rules mean that they must forfeit the tie, allowing Spurs to go through to play Chelsea.
Competition organisers the EFL said in a statement: “The Round Three tie scheduled for Tuesday 22 September between Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur could not take place following the issue by Waltham Forest Borough Council of an order preventing the match being played as planned. This followed a number of Leyton Orient players testing positive for Covid-19.
“The EFL Board has determined that in line with Carabao Cup Rule 5.1, the club was unable to fulfil its obligations to complete the fixture by virtue of the Council’s order and shall therefore forfeit the tie.”
Orient’s League Two game with Walsall this weekend has also been postponed as their squad self-isolate.
Spurs will now prepare for four games in eight days, starting with the visit of Newcastle on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s men then travel to Chelsea on Tuesday, host Maccabi Haifa in Europa League qualifying on Thursday and travel to Manchester United a week on Sunday.
Gareth Bale is “close” to sealing a sensational move back to Tottenham, the player’s agent Jonathan Barnett said on Wednesday, seven years after joining the Spanish giants from Spurs for a world record fee.
The Wales international has been frozen out by Real manager Zinedine Zidane and said earlier this month he was open to returning to the Premier League.
Bale twice won Premier League Players’ Player of the Year during his first spell at Tottenham, which saw him score 56 goals in 203 appearances and lure Madrid into paying a then world-record £85 million ($132 million, 100 million euros) for his services.
When asked about Tottenham’s move for Bale, Barnett told AFP: “It’s close but not done.” He added: “It’s a complicated deal.”
Bale has two years left on a contract that pays him around 30 million euros a year at Real Madrid.
Madrid are pushing for a permanent transfer, while Spurs would prefer a loan move that involves the Spanish champions covering a portion of the 31-year-old’s wages.
According to reports in England, Tottenham are set to pay £13 million of Bale’s salary for a year-long loan.
Bale joined Madrid the summer that Jose Mourinho left the Spanish giants, but the Tottenham manager said he had tried to sign him during his spell as Real boss.
“I tried to sign him during my time at Real Madrid and the president followed my instinct and knowledge and the season I left, he brought Gareth to the club,” Mourinho said in a press conference on Wednesday. “That’s no secret and Gareth knows that.”
Bale has won the Champions League four times, scoring in the 2014 and 2018 final, and won two La Liga titles at Madrid, but his time at the club is largely viewed as an expensive failure in Spain.
Real president Florentino Perez’s plan for Bale to take over the mantle as Madrid’s talisman from Cristiano Ronaldo never materialised as his role has significantly reduced under Zidane since Ronaldo left the club two years ago.
Bale started just one match when the 2019/20 season resumed after the coronavirus hiatus and caused a stir with his behaviour while he watched on in the stands.
The winger still has an emotional attachment to Tottenham after joining the club from Southampton as a teenager, where he developed from a left-back into one of the world’s most exciting forwards.
Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who managed Bale for four years at Tottenham, said he would bring “that little bit of magic” to Mourinho’s side, who lost their first game of the Premier League season to Everton.
“It would be a fantastic signing for the club,” Redknapp told BBC Radio Wales. “It would be great for Gareth to get back playing again. He’s such a talent, such a great player. It’s a waste to see him not playing.”
Bale’s return to playing regularly in the Premier League would also be a boost for Wales manager Ryan Giggs with Euro 2020 to come at the end of the season.
Tottenham are also close to completing the signing of Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon for around 30 million euros.
Reguilon enjoyed an excellent season for Madrid in 2018/19 but Zidane sent the 23-year-old on loan last year to Sevilla, where he helped them finish fourth in La Liga and win the Europa League.
A buy-back clause is expected to be inserted into the deal, which would allow Real to re-sign Reguilon from Spurs in the next two years.
Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is close to agreeing a deal to fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium later this year, promoter Eddie Hearn said on Thursday.
Britain’s Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last year to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.
Now the 30-year-old is set to fight Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, the IBF mandatory challenger, in June at the north London home of Premier League club Tottenham.
The plush 62,000-capacity stadium, which opened last April, is believed to have beaten competition from venues including Twickenham and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
“We’re very close. I had a meeting with AJ last night. We’ve had offers in from the Far East, Middle East, Africa, America, Turkey,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“He’s made it very clear to me ‘I want to come home. I want to box in London next. I’ve been to Madison Square Garden. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia. Bring me home! Forget the other offers! Bring me home!’
“He wants to fight in London in June. We’re on the verge of making that happen now. Spurs is the front runner and that’s what he’s asked me to do. We’ll be delivering that for him.”
Joshua was last in action in London back in September 2018 when he beat Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino fears the decision to shut the Premier League transfer window before many of the other major leagues could “create a mess” at Tottenham Hotspur.
Pochettino signed Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis on Thursday’s deadline day after breaking their transfer record on Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele earlier in the window.
But clubs in Italy, Spain and Germany, who all start their domestic seasons later than the Premier League, still have several weeks to sign players from England.
With Tottenham stars Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen all linked with moves this summer, Pochettino is worried that his players will be distracted and potentially end up leaving without replacements being available.
“All the personal situations, it is not right to talk. There is a lot of rumours. We cannot waste time talking about every rumour that appeared on the news,” Pochettino told reporters on Friday.
“That is another point to argue that we are at a disadvantage with European clubs because they have 20 days more, because I think it is a big mistake for the Premier League to allow that.
“In this situation we open the door for clubs in Europe to try and create confusion in the club. The Premier League cannot give this advantage to European clubs because we are going to compete with them … they can create a mess in a club like us.”
Despite Pochettino’s concerns, he was still in confident mood ahead of Tottenham’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Pochettino had called for them to “act like a big club” and chairman Daniel Levy has responded to that demand.
‘I’m a Happy Man’
“I am very happy, like I told you before I was happy with my squad and now to add some more players,” Pochettino said.
“You are always thinking that players can bring good energy and help us achieve all that we want.
“We will see what happens, but I am so happy with the way the squad is. I was happy before, I am happy plus. I am a happy man.”
Rose’s future remains uncertain after he did not go on Tottenham’s pre-season tour in order to arrange a move away from the club.
But it looks as if he has been reintegrated into the squad after Pochettino said he was a “very important part of my plan” despite the arrival of Sessegnon, who could fill the same role in the long-term but isn’t fit yet.
“Sess is so young, 19 years old. He can potentially be a very good player, still not much Premier League experience,” Pochettino added.
“He was playing as a winger, not a full-back at Fulham. Ryan is maybe behind Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele, they are 23 and 22 (respectively) and have more experience playing at a high level.
“Ryan is injured for maybe three or four weeks and then we’ll see how he is going to adapt.”
Tottenham Hotspur suffered a fresh blow to their Champions League hopes on Monday when Moussa Sissoko appeared to be ruled out of the first leg of their semi-final against Ajax.
The midfielder, one of Tottenham’s outstanding players this season, suffered a groin injury in the return leg of the quarter-final tie at Manchester City and Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino believes he will not be fit for another two weeks.
That would rule Sissoko out of the north London club’s home leg against Dutch giants Ajax on April 30, with Tottenham already missing South Korea star Son Heung-min through suspension.
Son has been a key man for Spurs while England captain Harry Kane has been sidelined with an ankle injury.
“Moussa Sissoko is not going to be fit, maybe for the next two weeks, we hope he can recover before but I am not so optimistic,” Pochettino said ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League match at home to Brighton.
“Harry Winks we don’t know because it is a problem that is one day very good, next day not very good, it is about assessing each day.
“We hope he will be available for Tuesday but we are not sure.”
There are also doubts over the fitness of France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, with Pochettino saying: “Lloris I hope yes, we are going to assess, we have a training session and we hope it is not a big issue, we hope he is going to be available.”
‘Thinking In The Today’
Tottenham may have lost to Manchester City in their second game at the Etihad inside 72 hours but they remain firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League after both Arsenal and Manchester United lost as well at the weekend.
If Spurs beat Brighton and West Ham in back-to-back games at their new ground they will be on course for a top-four finish that would qualify them for next season’s Champions League regardless of whether they win this season’s edition of European club football’s elite competition.
“We are not thinking of Ajax,” Pochettino said. “We showed at Manchester City that we are thinking in the today and that competition, the Premier League.”
The Argentinian added: “Now our energy is in Brighton. It is so clear that we have two objectives — one is to be in the top four at the end of the season and the other is to beat Ajax, but we need to go step-by-step.
“The players, they know it, I think the behaviour and the mentality are perfect.”
Despite concerns a mid-season move to a new ground may prove unsettling, Pochettino’s men have won all their three matches so far at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, scoring seven goals and not conceding any in the process.
“We hope we can keep going, getting the same result,” said Pochettino.
“It is going to be fantastic and it is going to be helpful for us playing in the new stadium with our fans and we hope and wish to repeat the performances of the previous results.”
Mauricio Pochettino has insisted a book he has published about his time at Tottenham Hotspur cannot be blamed for the north London club’s recent dip in form.
Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City meant Spurs have now won just once in their last five Premier League games.
The slump has seen Tottenham drop to seventh in the table and they are now a huge 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, with Spurs’ hopes of being crowned champions of England for the first time since 1961 now unlikely to be realised this season.
This run of poor results has also coincided with the publication of Pochettino’s book ‘Brave New World’, which chronicles the Argentinian manager’s time in charge at the club.
When Spurs great Glenn Hoddle published a diary while still England manager after the 1998 World Cup, he was widely criticised by both players and pundits alike for breaching the confidences of his squad.
But Pochettino was adamant his book had not caused similar disruption, saying the Tottenham players knew where they stood with him, even though since the first extracts were released in the middle of October they have won only four of their 10 games compared to eight victories in 11 prior to publication.
“The problem is when you lie, no? When you lie inside and you want to show that you are different,” Pochettino said. “But for me I am here how I am inside, and all that has appeared in this book the players know better than me. There is nothing to hide.”
Pochettino also appeared to indicate that any players looking to blame Spurs’ woes on the book would get very short shrift.
“We won a lot of games when the book appeared,” the former Southampton manager added. “I’m more than happy if the book is the problem, it’s easy — on the bench or out of the list.”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says domestic cup success would make little difference to his side and that the Premier League and Champions League are the “two real trophies” he is desperate to win.
Spurs, who host West Ham United in the last 16 of the League Cup on Wednesday, have not won a major prize of any kind since lifting the trophy in 2008. They last won the FA Cup in 1991.
Pochettino’s men have finished runners-up in the Premier League in each of the last two seasons, to Leicester City and then Chelsea, and Champions League qualification remains essential ahead of their move to a new stadium next year.
Despite the chance of League Cup success, Pochettino said the club’s priorities lie firmly elsewhere.
“Our objective is to win the Premier League, to win the Champions League — for me the two real trophies,” said Pochettino.
“And then there is the FA Cup. Of course I would like to win and I would like to win the Carabao (League) Cup, but if you want to be a big team and fight for big things, I think it is impossible if you don’t use all the squad and rotate in England.”
Pochettino added: “The manager always wants to win. To win the Carabao Cup? Yes, of course but it would not change the life of Tottenham.
“The FA Cup? Fantastic, I would love to win all the competitions in the world but it really changes your life if you win the Premier League or the Champions League. That is the truth.”
Danny Rose is set to make his first Tottenham start in almost nine months against West Ham but Pochettino admitted Erik Lamela is still not ready to return, despite hopes the winger would feature at Wembley.
Harry Kane will also be rested, meaning a rare start for Fernando Llorente up front, while Michel Vorm will replace Hugo Lloris in goal. Victor Wanyama remains sidelined with a knee problem.