Spurs' crown jewels at risk of real raid

Tottenham striker Harry Kane celebrating his opener against Southampton at Wembley last month. Champions League title-holders Real Madrid want to revamp their front line with Kane in mind after a poor season thus far for their current first-choice at
Tottenham striker Harry Kane celebrating his opener against Southampton at Wembley last month. Champions League title-holders Real Madrid want to revamp their front line with Kane in mind after a poor season thus far for their current first-choice attacking trio of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.PHOTO: REUTERS

LaLiga giants could make £200m move for Kane with Pochettino also a reported target

LONDON • Tottenham are determined to resist a world-record bid from Real Madrid for Harry Kane.

The Spanish club are prepared to make the England striker football's first £200 million (S$366.2 million) player, and exceed the £198 million Paris Saint-Germain spent on Neymar, as they plot a radical and expensive summer overhaul.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is trying to warn them off by saying he will not sell at any price.

Fundamental to his ambition is securing Kane and manager Mauricio Pochettino on extended deals to ensure the club move into their new stadium next season with their two biggest assets committed to the future.

The hope is that their commitment would persuade Toby Alderweireld, 28, Christian Eriksen, 25, and Dele Alli, 21, to renew deals.

Contract talks with Kane and Pochettino - whose deals expire in 2022 and 2021 respectively - are yet to take place, with neither thought to be in any rush to commence discussions.

  • £80k

  • Bumper pay rise Tottenham are reportedly ready to offer Harry Kane to commit.

A difficulty for Levy is what he can offer while trying to foot the bill for a new arena adjacent to White Hart Lane. Estimated costs for it have risen from an initial £400 million to at least £750 million and, should Spurs fail to qualify for next season's Champions League - they were fifth before this morning's (Singapore time) Premier League clash at Southampton - it will increase financial pressures.

New contracts for Eriksen, Alli, Son Heung Min, 25, and Alderweireld are planned, with Spurs' hopes of keeping Alderweireld the most precarious. The Belgian is contracted until next year, when a get-out clause would allow him to move for £25 million, as long as conditions are met.

Kane, the league's top scorer and Spurs' leading earner, is on £120,000-a-week. His wage places him below a number of other top English players, and Ross Barkley has just signed a significantly better deal at Chelsea.

Spurs are ready to go close to £200,000-a-week to persuade Kane to extend. However, salary alone will not be enough to retain the 24-year-old whose motivations have never been driven by money.

Earlier this month, Kane said Spurs need to begin winning trophies to keep him in the long term.

In Spurs' favour is the fact that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is also trying to prise Neymar from PSG.

With Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and even Cristiano Ronaldo under threat amid a disappointing season, Perez wants to rebuild his club's forward line.

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski is his leading target if he cannot get Kane, and Chelsea's Eden Hazard is also coveted.

Of further concern to Spurs is the head coach situation at the Bernabeu. Despite winning eight trophies in his first 18 months in charge, Zinedine Zidane is under threat of dismissal and Pochettino is among the candidates being considered to replace him.

The Argentinian is on the lowest salary of all the coaches in the league's top six.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2018, with the headline 'Spurs' crown jewels at risk of real raid'. Print Edition | Subscribe