Football: Spurs can keep Kane without Champions League football, says interim boss

Mason and Kane (above) are close friends off the pitch, but the former Spurs midfielder said he had not spoken with the striker about his future. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Tottenham Hotspur interim manager Ryan Mason said on Friday (April 30) that Harry Kane's future at the club does not hinge on whether they qualify for next season's Champions League.

The England captain's career has been the subject of intense speculation after he said "we'll see where we go" following the upcoming European Championship and comments this week about his desire to win trophies.

Missing out on the top four, which currently looks likely, will be another blow for Spurs in keeping their star man happy but Mason does not think it will be a decisive factor.

"I don't think so," he said ahead of Sunday's clash with already relegated Sheffield United.

"Harry Kane loves this football club. That's been proven over the last seven or eight years. He's one of the best strikers in the world.

"Everyone knows that, we know that and I'd like to think Harry knows that as well.

"The most important thing right now, and our attention right now, is this weekend. We can't disrespect any opponent and we can't be investing our energy into anything else."

Mason and Kane, 27, are close friends off the pitch but the former Spurs midfielder said he had not spoken with the striker about his future.

"He's one of the most professional guys I've ever met in my life so Harry Kane has been training excellently this week," said Mason.

"He'll be training excellently tomorrow, I know that, and he'll be ready for the weekend."

Tottenham last won a major trophy when they lifted the 2008 League Cup but the north London club insist Kane is not for sale.

And, with three years left on his contract, it would take an eye-watering figure for them to change their mind - something that does not look likely in the cash-strapped coronavirus era.

Finishing in the top four would help appease Kane, but that is going to be tough as Spurs are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with five games to play.

Meanwhile, Spurs have been dealt another blow in their search for a new manager after Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag committed his future to the Dutch club.

The 51-year-old was understood to have been on the shortlist to replace Jose Mourinho, who was sacked last week, but he will be staying in Amsterdam after signing a contract extension until 2023.

Another leading candidate, Julian Nagelsmann, opted to join Bayern Munich this week, while Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has also distanced himself from the role.

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