LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has insisted that he sees his long-term future with his boyhood club despite speculation that his stunning rise to prominence had made him a transfer target for Real Madrid.
He emerged from the bench against Leicester City on Sunday to score a last-minute penalty to keep Mauricio Pochettino's side in the FA Cup. The 22-year-old has now mustered 14 goals for his club this season and 50 in total.
What has attracted Real is the fact that he has scored 45 of them in the last 18 months, a spell in which he has also broken through into the England squad.
The forward is adamant, however, that he has no interest in leaving the club that he has supported all of his life, even for the chance to play among the Galacticos at the Santiago Bernabeu - including Tottenham alumni Gareth Bale and Luka Modric.
He intends to stay not only for the duration of the 51/2-year contract he signed in February but beyond that, too.
"There are always going to be rumours flying around but I'm happy here," he said. "The club is in a good shape, we have a great future and I'm raring to go, so we will see what happens.
"We have got a lot of young players who are getting better and better with each game. That is all we have got to do, keep working hard on the training field. I think we can only get better."
Kane's rise to stardom comes at a cost, of course. As well as scoring 45 goals in the last 18 months, he has played 89 times for club and country.
Indeed, he is so key for Spurs now that even when he is supposed to be given a brief break - as he was against Leicester - it does not always turn out that way.
He is convinced, though, that Spurs' meticulous conditioning coaching means that he is not at risk of overloading himself.
"I think that is down to the staff at Tottenham, the manager and the fitness staff," he said.
"They condition every training session, they plan it out week by week on what players need, so if players need a rest, they will do that. If players need to work hard, they will do that as well. They are not afraid to take risks and it has been working for us."
Indeed, it has been working so well that Spurs now rank as outside contenders for the Premier League title, an ambition which Kane believes has only been supplemented by their dramatic late equaliser against Leicester.
Claudio Ranieri's side visit White Hart Lane again in league competition tomorrow and Kane feels that the impetus in an unexpected title showdown will now very much be with the hosts.
"Scoring a penalty in the last minute of the game to keep your team in the Cup is what football is all about," he said.
"We will take that into Wednesday's game and go for the win."
THE TIMES, LONDON