Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has warned any teams interested in striker Harry Kane that he will not pick up the phone to any team proposing a player swap.
Levy is reluctant to grant Kane’s exit wish this summer and has hit the England captain with a £150m price tag – a fee which would be hard for any team to reach in a normal summer, let alone in a COVID-ravaged market.
Understandably, suitors like Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been exploring ways to include players in their bids to drive that asking price down, but The Sun claim Levy is having none of it.
Levy wants cold, hard cash if he is to sell Kane and is adamant he will not accept any team’s unwanted players as part of a bid. It’s £150m or nothing.
Spurs‘ chairman is well aware of the need for a squad rebuild this summer – the amount of work needed is a large part of the reason why Antonio Conte rejected the chance to become their new boss – and he wants as much money as possible to sort things out.
It’s for that reason that swap deals have been moved off the table. City had considered sending Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in exchange, but Levy does not want castaways and would prefer to reinvest the full £150m in some undisputed, bona-fide stars.
It’s a call-back to Gareth Bale’s £86m move to Real Madrid in 2014. Spurs fought for as much money as possible to rebuild the squad, and while they did get their wish, they didn’t really hit gold with any of their signings.
Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen were all signed for in excess of £100m that summer, with only Eriksen coming close to matching Bale’s output at Spurs before winding his contract down and joining Inter for £17m.
Ideally, Levy wants to keep Kane and prove to the 27-year-old that his dream of winning trophies is realistic if he stays at Spurs.
He is prepared to dig his heels in and reject the chance to cash in on the striker now, but he might not have many calls to answer anyway if he is prepared to stick to that £150m asking price.