Manchester City's interest in signing Tottenham forward Harry Kane is well known.

The two sides will meet on Sunday in the Premier League with the situation adding spice.

Spurs have held out on City's interest although the matter will develop as the conclusion of the transfer window approaches.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS HOLDING FIRM ON KANE

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is refusing to budge as Manchester City attempt to sign Harry Kane, reports The Telegraph.

Levy will come face to face with City officials in Sunday's Premier League meeting between the two sides.

The report claims the Spurs chairman is unwavering in his plan to retain his best player despite Kane expressing his desire to leave.

ROUND-UP

- Despite that, Tottenham continue to be linked with big-money moves, hinting they are expecting funds in their pockets soon, with Villarreal's Pau Torres firmly in their sights for £55m (€65m) according to The Mirror.

- Tammy Abraham's proposed switch from Chelsea to Roma is imminent according to The Athletic. The fee is reportedly worth €40m (£34m) with a buy-back clause after his second season.

- Calciomercato claims that Bayern Munich are willing to accept Hector Bellerin as part of a straight swap with Arsenal for Corentin Tolisso .

- Despite heavy speculation, Liverpool are yet to formally lodge a bid for Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez claims AS.

- Former Atletico Madrid and Chelsea striker Diego Costa is set to complete his move to join Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro until December next year reports Fabrizio Romano.

Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola has brushed off debate around the club's spending insisting it is relative to ambition.

City landed Jack Grealish for £100 million from Aston Villa in the off-season and have been heavily linked with a big-money move for Tottenham's Harry Kane.

In 2020, City purchased Ferran Torres from Valencia for £20m, Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40m and Ruben Dias from Benfica for £62m, with their total off-season transfer expenditure reaching almost £144m.

Guardiola pointed to the fact the club sold players to the region of £97m last off-season, while they have again made money selling peripheral players such as Ivan Ilic, Jack Harrison and Lukas Nmecha.

"I said last year that we couldn’t spend £100m," Guardiola told The Guardian.

"We have bought Jack Grealish because we sell for £60m, so in the end we have spent £40m. Otherwise, we cannot do it."

City's spending comes amid Paris Saint-Germain's off-season flurry of transfer activity which has seen the French powerhouse land Lionel Messi, Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Chelsea have also this week completed a bumper deal for Romelu Lukaku for £97.5m from Internazionale, having previously shown strong interest in a lucrative move for Borussia Dortmund Erling Haaland.

"Each club has its own reality, its own history," Guardiola said. "And every owner of every club decides how he wants to live.

"Our owners do not want to benefit, they want to reinvest in the team. There is Chelsea with [Roman] Abramovich and our club with Sheikh Mansour.

"They want to be in this world, they want to be buying into football. What is the problem?"

Guardiola also eluded to the potential signing of Kane when he said: "I don’t know if we will sign a striker; that depends."

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris has backed Harry Kane's professionalism amid intense speculation linking the forward with a move to Sunday's Premier League opponents Manchester City.

City manager Josep Guardiola has declared his desire to sign Kane, who had requested Spurs allow him to leave late last season.

The situation has dragged on with no clarity ahead of Sunday's meeting between the two sides to open their Premier League campaigns.

Kane only returned to Tottenham training late this week after a delayed break following Euro 2020 following by a period in isolation.

"Harry is a professional and he is here with a smile," Lloris told The Guardian. "There is a situation in the air, we can not hide that, but it belongs to him and the club.

"I’m just focused on the team, and if the manager needs him he will be professional."

Lloris reiterated the message that the group was focused on one direction, with Kane's situation not affecting their preparations for the new season.

"The priority is the team, the start of the season, and the rest we try to separate," 34-year-old Lloris said.

"The most important for me as the captain and a player is to see my teammates going in the same direction, together. But we are in a period that a lot of things can happen.

"It is also the message from the manager, he just wants players focused on training sessions and focused on the competition, and then we will see what will happen.

"As a player, a teammate, I have no words to say. It belongs to the club and Harry to find a solution."

Tammy Abraham appears close to leaving Stamford Bridge.

With Romelu Lukaku arriving at Chelsea from Serie A, Roma are calling for Abraham.

Or will he remain in the Premier League? 

 

TOP STORY – ROMA PUSHING FOR ABRAHAM

The dominoes appear to be falling into place for Tammy Abraham's move to Roma, and the Italian club are pushing for a decision from the player, reports Fabrizio Romano. 

With Edin Dzeko expected to complete his move to Inter in the coming days and Romelu Lukaku now officially a Chelsea player, Abraham could complete the triangle with a jump to Serie A. 

Multiple outlets have said the two clubs already have agreed a £34million (€40m) fee. 

Arsenal remain a possibility to land Abraham should the Roma move not work out. 

If that happens, Jose Mourinho's side have lined up Kelechi Iheanacho as their next option, according to Sky Sports. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Villarreal want €65m (£55m) for Spain international Pau Torres, and the Times says Tottenham are ready to pounce with Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool also interested. 

- Paris Saint-Germain could make a move for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly to fill the hole left by Sergio Ramos' injury, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A club will want €50m (£43m) for the veteran centre-back.

- Liverpool are interested in adding Adama Traore, but Wolves want £40m for the forward, according to 90min. 

- West Ham have long been the favourites to land Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina but Sky Sports says Tottenham have entered the frame for the Serbia defender. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not in attendance for Arsenal's season-opening defeat at Brentford due to illness and The Times reports he could be on his way out at Emirates Stadium. 

- Manchester United are poised to loan out Amad Diallo, reports Romano, with Crystal Palace and Basel among those interested in the young Ivory Coast winger.

- Everton have approached United about another potential loan, for Andreas Pereira, though Romano says United prefer a permanent move. 

Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on a potential move for Harry Kane ahead of Manchester City's Premier League opener at Tottenham on Sunday.

Guardiola last week confirmed City would be "very interested" in signing the "exceptional, extraordinary" Kane.

The England captain disputed suggestions he did not report for pre-season training last week, but has now reported for duty and Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo on Friday revealed he has had talks with the prolific striker.

Nuno stated that a decision had not yet been made over whether Kane will face City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Guardiola was not interested in discussing a move for Kane when he faced the media two days before the champions take on Spurs in the capital.

The City manager said: "I answered this last time. He's a player for Tottenham. I made an exception last time - usually I don't talk about transfers because it is not my business. That's all."

Guardiola also dismissed talk of going through a second successive season without a recognised number nine.

He said: "I would say we play with recognised strikers. Sergio [Aguero] was injured [last season] and played a few games. Always when Sergio was fit he was an important part of the team.

"He was incredibly recognised by me. He was a proper striker and Gabriel [Jesus] is a proper striker."

Guardiola added of Jesus: "Always his mind was in the right place. Gabriel is an incredible, important player for us, can play as a striker or wider. He had an incredibly key role in these many years of success in every season."

The Spaniard revealed Kevin De Bruyne has not returned to full training but is making progress in his recovery from an ankle injury.

Guardiola said: "He is getting better [De Bruyne]. Every day he is getting better. But we are still waiting. He can't do a full training session. Some with us, some alone. We will see in the next few days."

Jack Grealish is also building up his fitness after City's new British record £100million took a break following Euro 2020.

"Every player needs time to get his best," Guardiola said of Grealish. "Yesterday was the first day we were altogether, except Phil [Foden] because he is injured - but he was in the locker room with us.

City have lost their last three away games against Tottenham in all competitions, with Guardiola never having lost four away games in a row against a single club in his managerial career.

Champions City have won their first league match of the season in each of their past 10 top-flight campaigns.

Harry Kane is back in Tottenham training, but head coach Nuno Espirito Santo could not confirm he will face Manchester City this weekend and is taking the striker's future "day by day".

Kane has been pushing to leave Spurs and join City, their opening Premier League opponents, according to widespread reports.

The England captain returned late in pre-season following Euro 2020 and has had to quarantine, meaning his involvement in training was delayed.

Nuno had planned talks with Kane, which have now taken place, but the Tottenham boss was revealing little on Friday.

"Harry joined the group today," Nuno told a pre-match news conference. "He trained, we talked. Of course, it's a private conversation.

"Everything is okay. He's preparing himself, like Bryan [Gil], like [Cristian] Romero, players who joined us later. We have to be careful but everything's okay."

On his availability for Sunday, he added: "We still have the session tomorrow [Saturday] to decide.

"Romero, Bryan, Harry, players that do not have too many sessions with us, we have to think. We still have the day tomorrow to make decisions."

Nuno was then asked outright if he expected Kane to remain a Tottenham player beyond the end of the transfer window.

"He's here with us. He's a Tottenham player. He's here with us," he replied.

"We have to think about tomorrow, prepare the training session of tomorrow, and go day by day. All the players that have worked with us are our players."

Tanguy Ndombele is another player at Nuno's disposal, but he has merely been on the fringes of the squad in pre-season.

"There's always a reason in all the decisions we make. There's always a why," the coach explained when asked if Ndombele had a Spurs future. "We think, we talk and then we decide.

"We believe that Tanguy did not perform in the pre-season matches because we considered that he's not at the right moment for him to be with the group in terms of competition."

Tottenham have also been linked with incoming transfers, including Inter's Lautaro Martinez, and Nuno acknowledged they were working on incomings.

"The squad needs balance. We have a very talented squad, but it needs to be balanced," he said. "Everybody knows we are working very hard, but it's always hard to improve something that is good.

"We have to be really, really accurate on the players that we bring, because they have to bring things that we believe can make us better and strong. That is not easy, because we have quality players with us."

Here we go again. The Premier League race begins once more, despite some players barely having the chance to unpack their suitcases after short-lived pre-season breaks.

Last time out, Manchester City turned a potentially intriguing title battle into a procession. They had plenty of tests along the way, just mostly of the PCR variety as the teams pushed on amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Thankfully, fans will be in grounds to watch from the start this time around, while some familiar faces have returned. Romelu Lukaku is back. Patrick Vieira – a three-time Premier League winner in his playing days – and Rafa Benitez, a former red now aligned to the Blues, are on the touchline. Norwich City and Watford, meanwhile, have negotiated the Championship to secure a quick reunion.

Still, there is always a freshness to every campaign, aided by summer signings and, this time, the presence of a newcomer.

Brentford provide a new, exciting chapter to the Premier League story, though it is perhaps expecting too much to hope for riveting plot twists when it comes to the likely contenders to be crowned champions.

THE THOROUGHBREDS READY TO RUN AGAIN

When Manchester rivals City and United drew 0-0 in an instantly forgettable derby in December 2020, one that left those who had watched on wondering what else they should have done with their time instead, Pep Guardiola's side were sitting outside the top seven in the table. It was actually an upturn in their position – they had languished down in 11th during the previous month.

By the time they hosted their neighbours in the return fixture in March 2021, however, City had won 21 in a row in all competitions and held a double-digit lead at the head of the league. The stunning run did come to an end that day, but it was just a case of delaying the inevitable.

The rich have got richer in pursuit of a third title in four years, in terms of talent at least. Spending £100million to get Jack Grealish has add further creativity, as if they really needed it. The squad could still be bolstered by Harry Kane, too. If the Tottenham striker moves north, the deck will be stacked even more in City's favour.

Yet there are reasons for the others who finished in the top four to be optimistic. Chelsea denied Guardiola in the Champions League final, giving a silver-lined finish to the promising early form under Thomas Tuchel. They have strengthened in attack, Lukaku back at the Bridge to sort out some unfinished business. A glaring gap in the squad (sorry, Timo Werner) has been filled.

Adding goals will be a key factor for the Blues, as they managed only 38 in all competitions following the appointment of the German coach. To put that number into context, United and City managed 58 and 70 across the same period. Even Tottenham topped them with 49.

OLE JOCKEYS FOR SILVERWARE

United finished second but will hope Jadon Sancho can lift them even higher, albeit the arrival of Raphael Varane could be even more crucial, considering the Red Devils conceded 28 goals at home last season – their most in a single campaign since 1962-63. Tighten up and it could well be their year, but they do not want to continue the habit of giving opposing teams head-starts again in games.

Those two marquee signings, which came in the transfer window following unrest among the fanbase aimed at the club's ownership, have rightly raised expectations. Now, for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is a need to secure something tangible, a piece of silverware to show he can clear the final hurdle.

The caretaker appointed to lift the gloom after Jose Mourinho is just three Premier League games short of a century in charge – if United triumph in all of them on the way to that Solskjaer milestone, the Norwegian will have the same winning percentage at the magical 100 mark as Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp.

As for Klopp and Liverpool, there is a degree of uncertainty. The outstanding winners in 2019-20 required a fast finish – the Reds' run of five consecutive league wins in May was more than they managed in 12 games in February, March and April combined – just to squeeze into the top four. They began to rebuild fortress Anfield, knocked down during a record-breaking losing run.

Injuries did decimate the squad during a tepid title defence, but Virgil van Dijk is now fit again and, just in case, Ibrahima Konate has come in to provide added depth at the heart of the defence. If Sadio Mane can rediscover his scoring form and ease the burden on Mohamed Salah, the ingredients are all there to mount a sustained challenge again.

THE FADING FORCES DESPERATE TO FIND FORM

In times of cutbacks, have the 'Big Six' been reduced to a 'Big Four'? Arsenal and Tottenham still retained enough pulling power to be included as part of the failed European Super League plan, but neither have ended up above Leicester City in the final league table in the past two years.

The Foxes came up short in their Champions League quest again, though the frustration at a second successive fifth-place finish was eased somewhat by lifting the FA Cup. The underappreciated Brendan Rodgers has never lacked belief, and Leicester have backed their boss in the transfer market with the signings of Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare.

Spurs' transfer business is now being carried out by new managing director Fabio Paratici, while Nuno Espirito Santo was eventually selected to take over as head coach, despite at one stage appearing to be off the lengthy list of candidates. Both are carrying out their duties amid uncertainty over Kane, the competition's disgruntled Golden Boot winner determined to get a move.

Tottenham will be the Premier League's first participants in the Europa Conference League, which could either offer welcome relief from league issues or be a midweek nuisance. Come on, though, who doesn't want to go to Latvia in winter? Arsenal may well wish they had such concerns - they will not be playing in any European competition for the first time in 26 years.

Ben White has come in at great expense as the Gunners have put a focus on getting younger. Really, they just need to get better. To that extent, getting more out of Thomas Partey, not to mention Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who managed just the 10 league goals in 29 games, would help.

Mikel Arteta has much work to do to make sure the gap to the head of the field does not grow wider.

THE OUTSIDERS HOPING TO EMERGE

West Ham finished above the north London duo last time thanks in no small part to the impact made by Jesse Lingard during his loan spell.

The attacking midfielder scored nine goals and four assists in 16 games to propel himself back into England contention, even it remains to be seen if it was enough to rekindle his Manchester United career.

Without Lingard, David Moyes will have to conjure up more magic from within his squad as they also tackle the added workload of playing in the Europa League. Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is unlikely to have the same kind of impact during his temporary stint from Paris Saint-Germain, leaving cravings for 'J-Lingz'.

Leeds United will hope to build on a positive first year back in the top flight, steered diligently by the boss on a bucket, Marcelo Bielsa, while Aston Villa have wisely elected not to replace the talismanic Grealish with just one player, instead bringing in several to try and fill the void.

There is still time for teams to strengthen, particularly as the leading clubs look to cut away some of the unnecessary fat in their bloated squad lists. Lingard demonstrated what a difference the right signing can make to a team.

However, another underdog story to match the wonderful tale of Claudio Ranieri's Leicester appears impossible. Instead, after two consecutive seasons with runaway champions, it would just be nice if the 2021-22 Premier League Stakes at least provided a little more drama by the time we enter into the closing stages.

Harry Kane remains a Tottenham player with the new Premier League season set to commence.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has declared their interest in signing the England international.

The situation has been at a standstill and remains unresolved.

 

TOP STORY - CITY READY TO UP KANE BID

Manchester City are willing to pay €150m (£127m) for Harry Kane as they try to convince Tottenham to sell their captain, claims The Guardian via Fabrizio Romano.

Spurs have reiterated Kane is not for sale this off-season despite the forward's reported request to leave late last season.

Tottenham turned down a €117m (£100m) bid previously, which is the same amount City spent to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

 

ROUND-UP

- AS have reported that Paris Saint-Germain will look to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in 2022 as a replacement given the anticipated exit of Kylian Mbappe, whose contract expires next year. Mbappe is a long-time target for Real Madrid.

- Tottenham have ramped up their bid to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, amid interest from Atletico Madrid claims Sky Sport Italia. Spurs will offer €60m (£51m) including bonuses.

- Corriere dello Sport reports that Barcelona are shopping around Philippe Coutinho, who has been offered to Lazio, Milan and Inter.

- Tammy Abraham remains unconvinced about moving to Roma despite meeting with the Italian club who had agreed terms with Chelsea, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- The Sun claims Everton have joined Tottenham, Inter and Zenit in pursuing Napoli skipper Lorenzo Insigne.

Tottenham have confirmed their squad numbers for the upcoming campaign, with Manchester City target Harry Kane keeping the 10 shirt.

Kane has worn 10 for Spurs since the 2015-16 season, though the England captain seemingly wishes to leave the club.

He has three years remaining on his Tottenham contract, but Premier League champions City have made last season's Golden Boot winner their priority signing after they sealed the arrival of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

City splashed out a British record fee of £100million on Grealish, and reportedly had a bid of a similar amount for Kane turned down by Tottenham earlier in the transfer window.

Pep Guardiola has outlined his intention to sign Kane if possible, though City's manager acknowledged the ball will ultimately be in Tottenham's court.

On Thursday, reports emerged that Kane – who is set to return to training with Spurs on Friday – would be the subject of a second offer from City worth in the region of £150m.

However, despite the uncertainty over his future, Kane was named among the Spurs players to be given squad numbers for the season.

He keeps the number 10, while Bryan Gil, signed from Sevilla in a part-exchange deal with Erik Lamela, takes the 11 jersey that was vacated by the Argentinian.

On-loan goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has been handed the number 22, while defender Cristian Romero, who also joined from Atalanta, has taken the number four that was previously occupied by Toby Alderweireld.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side kick off their Premier League campaign against City on Sunday. It remains to be seen as to whether Kane will feature.

The new Premier League season has not even begun yet and we're already enjoying some enthralling narratives.

Beyond the mundane matter of who might win the league, who will beat the drop and how thick the VAR lines will be, there are some tantalising stories we'll be following closely in the coming weeks.

Below, Stats Perform takes a look at some of the big talking points...

 

Blue Benitez

Predicting football is often a fool's game – especially in an era when Lionel Messi no longer plays for Barcelona – but Rafael Benitez at Everton? Who saw that coming?

The Spaniard is back in the Premier League, two years after walking away from Newcastle United, having been tempted by the same project that won over Carlo Ancelotti before the lure of a Real Madrid return became too great.

Benitez was a fans' favourite at Newcastle, arguably as much as he was at Liverpool, where he reached two Champions League finals including the unforgettable triumph in Istanbul. His connection to the red half of Merseyside meant his decision to head to Goodison Park raised the eyebrows of some and the blood pressure of others. In fact, only one man has ever managed both clubs: William Edward Barclay, Everton's first boss in 1888 and Liverpool's manager from 1892. We'll forgive you if you don't remember.

The scrutiny on Benitez, who has recorded 11 wins against Everton in his coaching career, will be severe. He has the credentials, but if he cannot quickly prove he is the man to realise the dreams of owner Farhad Moshiri and challenge the 'big six', the pressure could become pretty uncomfortable.

 

Virgil return lifts Reds

For a while, it seemed everything would be okay. In the first 11 games after Virgil van Dijk was injured against Everton last October, Liverpool conceded just six goals and kept as many clean sheets. Perhaps the loss of the Netherlands colossus would not be quite so damaging.

Of course, as injuries in defence piled up and confidence in their title chances waned, Liverpool's season ended up being one of major disappointment even though a strong final few weeks saw them snatch a Champions League spot.

Van Dijk's impact cannot really be disputed: since his move to Anfield in January 2018, Liverpool have won 75.8 per cent of matches with the centre-back in the side and only 54.3 per cent without him. They average 2.4 points per game with him (compared with 1.9 without), and even score more goals on average (2.3 compared with 1.8) when he's playing. No wonder fans began to count down the days to his return.

On Saturday, we can finally expect to watch Van Dijk in competitive action again, with Jurgen Klopp confirming he is fit to start the season. He could even begin his partnership with new signing Ibrahima Konate against Norwich City at Carrow Road. How Liverpool's campaign progresses over the opening few weeks, and how Van Dijk's return goes, might just tell us whether another title tilt is on the cards.

 

Rom-ember us?

Two of the biggest transfers in this pre-season have seen stars returning to England: Jadon Sancho, who finally got his Manchester United move for £72.9million a year after Borussia Dortmund had demanded a sizeably bigger sum; and Romelu Lukaku, who is heading to Chelsea for roughly £93m.

Sancho left Manchester City for the Bundesliga as a teenager and promptly became one of Europe's standout attacking players, with 50 goals and 57 assists in 137 appearances. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted a player to get fans on their feet, and he's almost certainly found it: Sancho completed 48 multi take-ons (beating more than one player with a dribble) in the Bundesliga, at least 14 more than any other player in his time in Germany.

For Lukaku, it's a case of unfinished business at Chelsea, the club he left back in 2014. The standout performer for Inter last season, with 30 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, he propelled his side to their first Serie A title since 2010 before taking up the chance to return to Stamford Bridge, where a consistent goalscorer could be decisive to their Premier League title hopes.

Sancho and Lukaku initially struggled to convince managers to give them a shot as youngsters in the Premier League. They return as elite players determined to prove a point. Given the costs involved, the pressure will be on both to perform – and quickly.

 

Did Jack hammer Harry's City hopes?

Manchester City are not exactly frugal in the transfer market, but rarely will they willingly pay over the odds for an individual. That's what made their willingness to spend £100million on Jack Grealish, a player with 12 senior international caps and zero Champions League experience, a touch surprising.

This is not to suggest Grealish is not a good player, of course. This is a man who was involved in a remarkable 376 open-play attacking sequences over the past two seasons for Aston Villa, a team who finished 17th and 11th in those campaigns. It's just notable that Pep Guardiola felt it was warranted to smash City's transfer record by nearly £40m to sign yet another midfielder, especially given what's going on – or not going on – with Harry Kane.

Kane was expected to be City's marquee signing in this window but, as of now, his future is unclear. He is finally due to return to Tottenham training this week but whether he is involved against City in their opening game is harder to know. And if City were willing to spend nine figures on Grealish, you can expect Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to demand top dollar for last term's golden boot winner, who has three years left on his contract.

Will City stump up the cash? Will Kane try his best to force Spurs' hand? Will he be staying in north London for at least a few months more, his form undimmed, the goals flowing as normal? It will be fascinating to watch.

 

Harry Kane will be available for Tottenham against Manchester City in their Premier League opener on Sunday, coach Nuno Espirito Santo has suggested.

Kane is quarantining at the club's training ground following his return at the weekend, despite initial reports he had boycotted pre-season amid growing speculation of a move away.

City, Spurs' Sunday opponents, were reported to have tabled a £100million bid for the forward that was rejected, though the reigning Premier League champions remain interested.

Nuno was on Monday due to hold talks with the England captain, whose 23 goals last term secured his third top-flight Golden Boot award, before he suggested Kane could play a part against Pep Guardiola's men.

Asked about players' availability for the City game, Nuno told Sky Sports: "All the players in the squad that work on a daily basis will be options for us, then it is up to us to decide."

Pushed further for an update on Kane, the former Wolves manager repeated his answer almost word for word, adding that Spurs would consider the "best options" from the squad.

After playing an integral role in England's Euro 2020 final run, Kane will be able to train from Thursday with the Tottenham squad – though that time scale may leave his fitness in doubt for Sunday's opener.

Guardiola has been unrelenting in his pursuit of Kane, reiterating his interest in the forward last Friday despite already signing Jack Grealish for a record-breaking £100m fee.

Whether Kane will join Grealish as a City player by the end of the transfer window remains unseen, but Nuno will hope his talisman can kick-start his side's campaign with a win.

Nuno Espirito Santo plans to talk to Harry Kane "as soon as possible" after the striker returned to Tottenham ahead of the new Premier League season.

Kane's future at Spurs remains in doubt after he made clear his desire to leave the club. Manchester City reportedly had an offer of £100million rejected earlier in the transfer window, though the reigning champions still remain the most likely landing spot for last season's Golden Boot winner.

After playing a key role in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, the 28-year-old did not report for pre-season training on Monday, as the club expected.

Kane released a statement on social media explaining how he would return for duty on Saturday, making clear that was always the plan while adding: "I wouldn't do anything to jeopardise the relationship I have with the fans who have given me such unwavering support during my time with the club."

While he completes a period of isolation and goes through physical testing, Spurs continued their preparations on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

"Harry is with us," Nuno, who was appointed as Tottenham's new head coach at the end of June, confirmed after the game.

"He has to quarantine at The Lodge, but he has already done his first day with the sports scientists, so he is with us.

"I will speak with Harry as soon as possible."

Whether viewed as a potential replacement or a new strike partner for Kane, Tottenham have been linked with a move for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

The Serie A side have already sold Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain as they look to ease their financial situation in the offseason, while Romelu Lukaku is expected to complete a return to Chelsea in the coming days.

Martinez could be set to follow Inter colleague Lukaku to London, though Nuno was unwilling to discuss potential new arrivals.

Asked about the Argentina international, he replied: "I will not speak about any player. I will only speak about my players, Tottenham players, nothing else."

Son Heung-min scored the only goal against Arsenal, firing past Bernd Leno in the 79th minute after being picked out by Japhet Tanganga's square pass.

Spurs start the new league campaign next Sunday, hosting Manchester City.

England international Kieran Trippier has expressed his desire to return from Spain this off-season.

The Atletico Madrid full-back has spent two seasons in Spain, helping Diego Simeone's side win LaLiga in 2020-21.

A former Burnley and Tottenham defender, Trippier has been pursued by Manchester United who are yet to agree a fee with Atletico.

TOP STORY – ARSENAL ENTER TRIPPIER RACE

Arsenal have joined United in targeting Kieran Trippier, reports The Sun.

The Gunners see Trippier as Hector Bellerin's replacement, with the Spaniard having been linked with Inter as he aims to make a move away from north Lonndon.

Atletico are demanding €40million (£34million) for 30-year-old Trippier.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sunday Mirror are reporting that Harry Kane will need to force through his transfer from Tottenham to Manchester City, after Spurs chairman Daniel Levy's claim the England captain is not for sale. City are reportedly prepared to wait and start the new season without a recognised striker.

- Inter are closing in on a deal for Atalanta's Colombian forward Duvan Zapata, with an offer of €30m on the table, reports Cesar Luis Merlo. Zapata is seen as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, with the Belgium striker set to exit for Chelsea.

- Atalanta are ramping up their move to sign Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham as part of the three-club shuffle. Fabrizio Romano claims the Atalanta board will meet Chelsea in the next 48 hours, with a price tag of around €40m to be discussed.

- Paris Saint-Germain have held advanced talks with the agent of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly about a move, reports Foot Mercato.

- Burnley are struggling to complete a move to sign RB Leipzig's Ademola Lookman on loan, according to The Sun.

Jack Grealish and Aston Villa provided a perfect model of how to sell a star player "in the best possible way", Stiliyan Petrov says.

And former Villa captain Petrov feels it is an example Harry Kane and Tottenham should heed as the England captain attempts to join Grealish at Manchester City.

Grealish left Villa Park for £100million this week, having wanted to join a Champions League club.

For Kane, who has already played in Europe's elite club competition, the intention appears to be to join a genuine title contender.

Spurs have fallen away, while City appear well set for their Premier League title defence.

It was reported Kane skipped pre-season training in a bid to force a transfer, although the striker said on Friday he "would never, and have never, refused to train" and was due to return "as planned".

City remain interested, as Pep Guardiola confirmed earlier the same day, but Tottenham are not willing sellers in the same way Villa were, having agreed Grealish's £100m release clause last year.

Luka Modric and Gareth Bale were each at odds with Spurs previously as they sought moves to Real Madrid, and Petrov suggests the "communication" between players and board at the London club is not as effective as at Villa.

"Everybody is blaming Harry Kane, [but] the way Aston Villa has handled Jack Grealish's situation was the prime example," Petrov, one of the founders of Player 4 Player, told Stats Perform.

"They sat down, they negotiated, they have talked about it. They managed to send Jack in the best possible way. Some fans will be unhappy, but many will be happy.

"Don't forget that they will get a really great price tag: £100million for Jack.

"He has given great years as a player for Aston Villa, they sat down, they have done it nicely, the player left in the best possible way, he was back for training, but that comes from the manager, from the coach of the club.

"And sometimes, you know, people blame the players, but don't blame just the players. You know what? It is always conversations, communication and the way of doing it.

"It seems like Tottenham haven't managed to do it for many years, because I can give you a lot of prime examples of a lot of players that ended in the same way. Probably that is the way they have decided to work."

Harry Kane insisted he has never refused to train and will be back at Tottenham "as planned" on Saturday amid uncertainty surrounding his future.

Kane – a target for Manchester City – made headlines on Monday when he did not report for training with Spurs, who refused to comment publicly on the matter.

The England captain was given an extended break after leading the Three Lions to the final of Euro 2020 last month.

Kane has been the subject of intense speculation since suggesting in May that he could leave Spurs during this transfer window.

City are said to have long held an interest in the 28-year-old and reportedly lodged a bid of roughly £100million earlier in the window. On Friday, Pep Guardiola confirmed he wishes to sign Kane, but insisted the saga would be "finished" if Tottenham refused to negotiate.

Kane received criticism from some quarters for failing to report to training under Nuno Espirito Santo, who claimed on Thursday that he was yet to speak to Spurs' talisman.

However, Kane says it was always planned that he would re-join Tottenham's squad on Saturday.

"It's almost ten years since I made my Spurs debut. For every one of those years, you – the fans – have shown me total support and love," a statement posted to Kane's official social media channels read.

"That's why it hurts to read some of the comments that have been made this week, questioning my professionalism.

"While I won't go into the specifics of the situation, I want to clarify that I would never, and have never, refused to train. I will be returning to the club tomorrow, as planned.

"I wouldn't do anything to jeopardise the relationship I have with the fans who have given me such unwavering support during my time with the club.

"This has always been the case as it is today."

Tottenham have so far refused to do business with City over Kane. Any transfer for the striker would almost certainly break the British record, which City themselves set this week with the £100m acquisition of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

Coincidentally, Spurs host champions City in their opening game of the 2021-22 Premier League season on August 15.

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