What the papers say

Real Madrid have reportedly been given an opportunity to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane. The Daily Mail, citing Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, says the Spanish giants have been offered the chance to pick up the 29-year-old in a player-plus-cash deal. Kane’s contract at Tottenham expires next summer and any transfer would give Spurs the chance to cash in before risking him leaving as a free agent.

Staying with Tottenham, The Sun reports the club’s search for a new manager has taken a blow, with Paris St Germain linked with a move for top target Luis Enrique. Citing Marca, the paper says the French powerhouses are likely to sack boss Christophe Galtier and enter the race for the former Spain coach.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says 24-year-old France defender Jules Kounde is set to snub a rumoured approach from Chelsea to stay at Barcelona.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Samuel Umtiti: The Daily Mirror says the Barcelona and France defender, on loan at Italian side Lecce, is eager to find a permanent deal in Italy.

Keylor Navas: Chelsea and Tottenham are among the clubs keeping tabs on the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper, according to Foot Mercato.

Tottenham and England forward Harry Kane reflected on a “special” day after he officially received the Freedom of the City of London on Thursday in a ceremony alongside his family at Guildhall.

One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade.

England captain and record scorer Kane was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in November for his outstanding sporting achievements but was only now able to receive his certificate in a ceremony alongside wife Kate, his three children and other members of his family.

Chris Hayward, the City Corporation’s policy chairman, and deputy policy chairman Keith Bottomley nominated Kane, who has spent the majority of his playing career in the capital with Tottenham where he is their all-time top scorer.

Reflecting on the day at Guildhall, Kane told the PA news agency: “It was great, really unique and really special in its own way.

“Just a great experience. I have all my family with me today and for them to be in that room with me and see me get the certificate has been amazing.

“I am learning more and more about it as we go on. The ceremony dived into a bit of the history and some of the names before me so it is incredible to be a part of.

“I am extremely grateful to London and what it has given me, the opportunities it has given me. I have been lucky to live here my whole life pretty much.

“I have had a couple of short spells away when I was on loan, but other than that I have been here. To represent not just England but London as well is something I am extremely proud of.

“To receive this award has been an amazing honour for me.”

Kane follows in the footsteps of former England cricketer and World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, who officially received the Freedom of the City of London last year.

Meanwhile, every member of the Lionesses’ squad received the Freedom of the City of London following their winning exploits at Euro 2022.

Spurs forward Kane guided England to the final of the European Championships two years ago and won the golden boot at the World Cup in 2018.

Policy chairman Hayward added: “Harry Kane is an outstanding sportsman and role model for young footballers, having achieved so much before the age of 30.

“Born and raised in London and admired by many millions of followers of the beautiful game – not just in this country, but around the world – it was our pleasure to welcome him and his guests to Guildhall.”

Bottomley said: “I was delighted to support the nomination for Harry Kane’s Freedom, which is richly deserved.

“Harry is, in every sense, at the top of his game and his Freedom goes some way towards expressing our admiration for his tremendous skill on the pitch, and our considerable pride in him.”

Tottenham target Arne Slot has committed to staying at Feyenoord for another season.

The Dutchman had reportedly become a leading contender to replace Antonio Conte at Spurs following a fine campaign where he led the Rotterdam club to the Eredivisie title.

Talks between Slot’s management and Feyenoord took place this week but it has been agreed the 44-year-old will stay at De Kuip.

Slot told AD Sport: “I have heard a lot about the interest of other clubs in me. I am grateful for the appreciation, but my wish is to stay with Feyenoord and continue to build on the foundation that has been laid there over the past two seasons.

“There are no transfer talks going on and there have not been any and yesterday’s discussion was only about a possible extension.

“All conversations with Feyenoord are only focused on that. I look forward to the new season at Feyenoord.”

Slot is the latest manager to be ruled out of the vacant head coach role at Spurs after Xabi Alonso did similar last week when he pledged his future to Bayer Leverkusen despite links to the Premier League club.

Earlier this month ex-Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann was deemed to no longer be viewed a candidate by Tottenham to replace Conte, the PA news agency understands.

Vincent Kompany is another manager linked with the post to have committed his future to his current club after he signed a new five-year deal with Burnley at the beginning of May.

Spurs’ search for a new head coach is now starting to draw parallels with their 2021 hunt for Jose Mourinho’s successor where they needed 72 days before they decided to hire Nuno Espirito Santo, who had been out of work for six weeks.

Friday will mark two months since Conte departed Tottenham and the club appear no closer to his replacement with chairman Daniel Levy seeking to find a new head coach and managing director of football following the resignation of Fabio Paratici last month.

Tottenham will be without Eric Dier for their final match of the season at Leeds after the defender underwent groin surgery this week.

Centre-back Dier has not started Spurs’ last three fixtures, having virtually been an ever-present during a difficult campaign for the club.

Dier was also left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Wednesday for next month’s internationals and it has now been revealed he has had surgery.

“We can confirm that Eric Dier has undergone groin surgery this week and will, therefore, be unavailable for our final game of the season, away to Leeds United on Sunday afternoon,” a club statement read.

“The defender will commence rehabilitation with our medical staff before joining up with the squad ahead of the start of pre-season.”

Dier has made 42 appearances for Spurs this campaign but been playing with the groin issue for a number of months before deciding to have surgery, the PA news agency understands.

The fight for Premier League survival reaches its climax on Sunday with three clubs still scrapping for their top-flight lives.

Two of Everton, Leicester and Leeds will join already-relegated Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship next season on what is set to be a dramatic final day of the campaign.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what each club needs to happen if they are to avoid the drop.


Opposition: Bournemouth (h)

Position: 17th

Points: 33

Goal difference: -24

The equation is simple for the Toffees: win and their fears are over regardless of what happens elsewhere. Anything less could prove fatal.

A draw would open the door for Leicester to leapfrog them on goal difference with a win, while Leeds could also overhaul them on goals scored with victory by three or more.

However, Everton would be safe even in defeat if both the Foxes and Leeds failed to win.


Opposition: West Ham (h)

Position: 18th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -18

Victory is the only option for Dean Smith’s men and even then, it might not prove enough.

Leicester also need Everton not to win – defeat for the Toffees would keep them up by a point, while a draw at Goodison would edge City to safety on goal difference.


Opposition: Tottenham (h)

Position: 19th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -27

Like the Foxes, Leeds must win and even then, they would have to keep their fingers crossed that both Everton and Leicester did not.

In the event that Everton drew, they would need to make up three clear goals to leapfrog them.

At the same time, Sam Allardyce’s men would have to achieve an improbable goal swing – they head into the weekend nine worse off – to edge past Leicester if they managed to beat West Ham.

Bryan Mbeumo was happy to step up for Brentford in the absence of Ivan Toney in their 3-1 win at Tottenham.

The Bees were without 20-goal striker Toney, who has also been nursing a hamstring injury, after he was handed an eight-month ban by the Football Association on Thursday for repeated betting breaches.

When Harry Kane fired Spurs into an early lead, it looked like Brentford’s faint hopes of European football were about to end but Mbeumo struck twice in a 12-minute period at the start of the second half before setting up Yoane Wissa for the visitors’ third late on.

“Yeah, sensational. I can’t say more than this,” Mbeumo told BT Sport.

“The first half was a bit sloppy from us, in the duels we were not maybe there but in the second half everybody raised the level and it is a fantastic win.

“Of course it is hard because we lose a big personality on the pitch (in Toney) and yeah we have to do it as a team but I am happy to score.

“I always push myself as hard as I can and yeah, I want to push the level. I am very hard on myself but I am happy.

“We want to aim high, be high on the table and we still have one chance so we will do everything we can.”

Mbeumo received praise from manager Thomas Frank after he scored his eighth and ninth goals of the campaign.

Frank added: “He works so hard, is a fantastic pressing player and can score goals, assist and link up, but maybe he lacked goals (last season).

“Probably a little bit unlucky in some situations because he hit the post seven times last year so we’re talking about margins there.

“He does work very, very hard at his finishing and especially with Justin Cochrane but also Kevin O’Connor on those two finishes he made. So, I was very pleased to see his hard work pay off.”

Brentford’s win means they are guaranteed a ninth-place finish but victory on the final day at home to champions Manchester City could secure Europa Conference League football.

Frank knows revenge will be on the mind of Pep Guardiola’s side after they stunned them at the Etihad in November.

“We know we need Tottenham and (Aston) Villa to drop points on the last day when we are facing the best team in the world,” Frank smiled.

“So, it is a little bit of a challenge but we will do everything we can to make an absolutely outstanding season even better.”

Spurs’ acting head coach Ryan Mason was left bitterly disappointed by their latest defeat with their goals against tally now standing at 62, their worst in a Premier League campaign since 2003.

He admitted: “Obviously we’re conceding a lot of goals for different reasons.

“I thought we showed a lot of courage in the first half. We were brave, played a good match with the ball but in the second half the intensity dropped.”

Ryan Mason played down fears about the future of Tottenham vice-captain Harry Kane after a disappointing 3-1 home loss to Brentford.

Kane’s 30th goal in all competitions put Spurs ahead after eight minutes, but the visitors turned the game around after the break through Bryan Mbeumo’s double and Yoane Wissa’s late goal.

It ensured Tottenham suffered a 14th defeat of a poor campaign in their final home fixture, which ended with the players doing a lap of honour in front of largely empty seats.

Vice-captain Kane waved to the fans who had stayed and uncertainty remains over his future with only one more year left on his deal at Spurs.

But Mason insisted: “He waves at the crowd every season.

“I remember sitting here two years ago and you guys were convinced he was leaving, saying the same thing.

“It’s the last home game of the season so he wants to show his appreciation to the support he’s received and we’ve all received this season.”

Spurs had impressed during the opening 45 and Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal, Arnaut Danjuma and Dejan Kulusevski all went close before half-time.

No second goal occurred for the hosts and Mbeumo’s quickfire brace after the break proved crucial.

Mason added: “This is the Premier League. You have to be ready for the whole game.

“I thought the first half we played a very good match, had a few opportunities to score a couple more, but of course in the second half the intensity dropped and we were punished.”

Back-to-back defeats have damaged Tottenham’s hopes of securing European football next season and there were further chants for chairman Daniel Levy to leave during his latest loss.

Mason admitted it hurt to see so many fans depart before the lap of honour but urged the club to commit to a philosophy this summer in its search for a new head coach and managing director of football.

“Of course (it hurts). It is understandable because of how probably the second two-thirds of the season have gone on and off the pitch but ultimately we know the fans will be there next season,” Spurs’ acting head coach insisted.

“This club will keep moving forward and now is the time where we need to be stronger than ever and believe in what we’re going to do, commit to it and have people that are committed to it.

“And I always say in football things can change very quickly and the energy can change quickly.

“There are many different conversations that need to happen, but ultimately, I have said it quite a bit, we need to commit to something and be consistent with it.

“Then have people, staff and players here who are committed to it too and I think that transfers to everyone else. That is what we need.”

Brentford were able to toast a milestone victory that means they have now defeated each member of the ‘big six’ during their first two seasons in the Premier League.

This fine win also ensured the Bees’ finished a difficult week on a high note after 20-goal forward Ivan Toney was hit with an eight month ban from all football activity on Thursday for repeated betting breaches.

“I think it is unbelievable and remarkable,” Frank said of Brentford’s top-six feat.

“For a newly promoted team over two seasons to beat all of the top-six teams must be quite unique so yes, of course we’re proud of that.

“We’ve already talked about (Ivan). To replace 20 goals in the Premier League is not easy but we actually have good players in the squad that can score goals and every single time Wissa is playing instead of Ivan he scores goals.

“He did that today and Kevin, he will score goals because he is such a threat going in behind.

“Of course the big praise is to Bryan today. He is growing more and more to be a key player for us.”

Tottenham’s disappointing campaign took another turn for the worse after Bryan Mbeumo’s second-half brace earned Brentford a fine 3-1 win at their London rivals.

Harry Kane’s early opener gave Spurs the perfect start in their quest to stay in the hunt for Europa League football, but the visitors turned the tables with an impressive display after the break.

Mbeumo grabbed a quickfire brace to help fill the void of Ivan Toney, who on Thursday received an eight-month ban from all football activities from the FA for betting breaches.

Yoane Wissa then sealed the victory late on for Thomas Frank’s side with Spurs suffering a 14th defeat of the Premier League season and leaving the pitch to boos after another match with more chants for chairman Daniel Levy to leave the club.

Tottenham’s loss at Aston Villa last weekend had added to the glum mood around club, but the sun was shining for this final home fixture of the season and Ryan Mason rung the changes.

Attackers Arnaut Danjuma and Dejan Kulusevski earned recalls while the fit-again Yves Bissouma made his first start since January with Spurs’ acting head coach reverting to the 4-2-3-1 formation he used in 2021.

Chairman Levy used his programme notes to acknowledge the season struggles but promised to bring “on-pitch success” after a chaotic campaign.

One of Levy’s many key decisions this summer – alongside hiring a new head coach and managing director of football – is to try and convince Kane to commit his long-term future to Spurs.

After eight minutes Tottenham’s vice-captain provided yet another reminder of his importance.

Oliver Skipp, another academy graduate, won a free-kick around 25-yards out and Kulusevski teed up Kane to curl over the wall and beyond David Raya for his 30th goal in all competitions.

It was the perfect start for the hosts and Son Heung-min was the next to go close but Raya denied him after Kane’s pass.

The strong opening period by Tottenham was not enough to prevent the first round of ‘Levy out’ chants from the South Stand with 23 minutes played to mark his number of years at the club.

A second goal for the hosts should have followed immediately after but Emerson Royal’s header was brilliantly cleared off the line by Rico Henry after good work by Kulusevski and Son.

Mathias Jensen side-footed over for Brentford minutes later but Spurs remained in the ascendancy and Danjuma headed wide before Ben Mee thwarted Son with a vital block.

Kulusevski, impressive in the number 10 role, ended the half with a firm near-post effort that Raya pushed over to ensure it stayed 1-0 at the break.

Bees boss Frank had seen enough and introduced Mikkel Damsgaard for the second half, which paid dividends straight away.

It was Damsgaard who fed the ball into Yoane Wissa and he passed into the path of Mbeumo, who cut inside from the right and curled into the bottom corner to level in the 50th minute.

While Kane blazed over after another Kulusevski through ball minutes later, Brentford had their tales up now and grabbed a second with 62 on the clock.

Aaron Hickey played a superb ball down the right and Mbeumo raced away and dribbled into the area before side-footing into the bottom corner for his ninth goal of the campaign.

More chants for chairman Levy to leave the club followed but only after Lucas Moura had been introduced for his farewell appearance.

Mason turned to Pedro Porro and Richarlison next with the latter having half-hearted penalty appeals waved away before Wissa wrapped up the points.

Shandon Baptise robbed the ball off Skipp and Mbeumo teed up Wissa, who curled home for his seventh goal this season.

There was still time for nine minutes of stoppage-time and Raya to produce two outstanding saves to deny Richarlison before the full-time whistle was met with boos before chants urging Kane to stay amid uncertainty over his long-term future.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has issued a promise to supporters that the summer months will be spent trying to bring “on-pitch success” to the club.

Spurs have endured a difficult campaign with boss Antonio Conte departing in March, before Fabio Paratici resigned from his managing director of football position last month following a worldwide ban for allegations of false accounting during his time at Juventus.

The club’s trophy drought has also extended into a 15th consecutive season and any hope of another top-four finish has long gone with unrest amongst the fanbase growing amid a perceived lack of direction or transparency from the board.

Ryan Mason is the third head coach this season, after Cristian Stellini was sacked following a disastrous four-game spell, and with the managerial search set to extend into a third month next week, Spurs fans’ have repeatedly chanted for Levy to leave the club in recent fixtures.

But in his programme notes for the final home match of the season against Brentford, Levy said: “This has been an immensely difficult season.

“We made footballing decisions over recent seasons based on ambition and a desire to bring success to our club and they have not delivered what we had hoped.

“Your frustration has been understandable and all of us at the club have shared it.

“We have undertaken a thorough and rigorous review of our footballing operations. Scott Munn joins us in the summer as our new chief football officer and we look forward to sharing further news with you post-season.

“We shall spend the period ahead of next season working relentlessly to position our club for on-pitch success and football you will love to come and watch.

“Every element of the club’s operations is geared toward delivering that.”

Levy did make similar promises in 2021 with talk of Spurs returning to their “DNA” amid the hunt for Jose Mourinho’s successor.

A lengthy managerial search ended with Nuno Espirito Santo being appointed in June, but he was sacked four months later.

Feyenoord boss Arne Slot has been installed as the new bookies’ favourite to replace Conte in the current head coach hunt.

Earlier this month Julian Nagelsmann was ruled to no longer be a contender while recent weeks have seen Xabi Alonso and Vincent Kompany commit to staying at Bayer Leverkusen and Burnley respectively.

Chairman Levy did pay tribute to Mason for stepping up for a second time in interim charge and women’s caretaker Vicky Jepson, who replaced Rehanne Skinner in March.

He added: “I should like to thank everyone at the club – all our staff, across all our locations, and our players – for their dedication and hard work during what has been a busy and often challenging season.”

Tottenham acting head coach Ryan Mason has challenged Richarlison to finish the campaign strongly and give supporters a glimpse of what could be in store next season.

The Brazil international has endured a difficult first year at Spurs, scoring only three goals in 33 appearances following a £60million move from Everton last July.

Richarlison himself described his season as ‘s***’ in March and even when he got off the mark for Tottenham in the Premier League at Anfield last month his celebrations were cut short after Diogo Jota netted a stoppage-time winner.

It saw West Ham forward Michail Antonio and Newcastle striker Callum Wilson make fun of Richarlison on The Footballer’s Football podcast after previous occasions where he took his top off only to be denied by the offside flag.

Interim boss Mason made his feelings known on the behaviour of Antonio and Wilson while backing his player to shine ahead of Saturday’s last home game of the season against Brentford

“As a coach, I wouldn’t do it and as a player, I’ve never done it as well,” former Tottenham and Hull midfielder Mason insisted.

“I don’t really like that type of thing. We’re all trying to do our best, we’re all professionals, we’re working hard.

“We dedicate our lives to get to this level and to compete at this level, so I don’t really like that type of thing personally.

“Richy, I don’t think he’s thinking about other players. I think it is his own pride and his own determination that will probably drive that most of all.

“Maybe he’s heard it, maybe seen it? Maybe. Maybe it might give him a little bit more (motivation). I’m not sure.

“He’s a fighter, who works hard, trains hard and I’ve never seen someone that’s shirked responsibility.

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“Yes, of course, we would have wanted more goals and he would have wanted more goals from himself, but that’s not happened.

“Hopefully now he can influence the last two games and score goals to help us.

“And then I’m sure come pre-season, he’ll come back full of energy to really show us what he’s really all about.”

Goals for Richarlison will help ensure Spurs bid farewell to their campaign at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a positive note.

It has been a difficult campaign on and off the pitch, with the club searching for a new head coach and managing director of football while chairman Daniel Levy continues to feel the ire of the fanbase at home and away fixtures.

Mason wants to give the supporters on Saturday plenty to shout about, he added: “It’s part of our job, it’s our duty to go there and show the energy.

“You naturally understand the frustration because it’s been an up-and-down season and we’ve been quite inconsistent.

“So, it’s normal that fans feel that, but ultimately the fans are coming to the stadium, they work hard, they pay their money and they’re coming to support us.

“That’s the first thought in their mind and as a group of players representing the club, we want to show our appreciation and show the energy to try and get a positive result.”

While Richarlison is the future of Tottenham, Lucas Moura will soon be the past, with Saturday set to be his final home outing ahead of his summer departure.

Another forward that Spurs have big hopes for is teenager Dane Scarlett, who is out in Argentina with England for the Under-20 World Cup.

Scarlett recently returned to Hotspur Way after a challenging loan spell at Portsmouth where he scored six goals in 40 appearances.

But Mason said: “I have seen Dane in the last week or so since he came back and he looks different from a physical point of view.

“You can feel that he has played men’s football so from that point of view I am sure he is in a better place than he was 12 months ago.

“But at the same time going into an Under-20 World Cup, it is a great opportunity for him and probably a different style and different type of football he will come up against.

“I am sure he will go into that challenge full of confidence.”

Tottenham acting head coach Ryan Mason is refusing to look beyond Saturday’s visit of Brentford despite uncertainty over his own future.

Spurs remain without a permanent manager and doubts remain over where Mason will be around next season after spending the last 18 months as first-team coach at the club.

Mason, 31, has made clear of his desire to take the top job at Tottenham and signalled his intention that he is ready to be a manager, but that looks unlikely to be with the Premier League outfit after they produced another stuttering display in defeat at Aston Villa last weekend.

It means the former Spurs midfielder could move on in the summer with Feyenoord boss Arne Slot the new bookmakers’ favourite to replace Antonio Conte, but the current acting head coach is fully focused on the club’s last home match of the season against Brentford.

Mason insisted: “I’m really not thinking about next season. If my attention goes to six or seven weeks’ time, I’d be very stupid to take my eye off the ball now.

“I’m aware of the situation now. I know me and my team are doing the best we can, we’re doing good. Whatever happens in the summer or next season, there is definitely decisions to be made but at this moment in time we don’t know what they’ll be.

“I believe in the way I work, me and my team. I have more belief now than I’ve ever had in my life that what we’re doing, for this football club, the environment, the feeling we’re trying to create here.

“I believe in it so much. That’s probably where it (my positivity) is coming from.”

There is less optimism among the Spurs fanbase, who saw Julian Nagelsmann ruled out of the managerial running last week.

That development saw the away support at Aston Villa last Saturday chant for chairman Daniel Levy to leave the club during the opening minute of a 2-1 loss.

A poor result against Brentford could result in more chants against Levy this Saturday and Mason is eager to give the supporters plenty to shout about.

“I mean it is important they see and feel a team that is trying to transfer energy to them,” Mason admitted.

“That is probably one of the most important messages we’ve been trying to give to the players this week. We want energy, we want to feel that energy inside the stadium because our fans have been fantastic this season.

“They’ve stuck with us and have been with us the whole time. Yeah, we want to give them something to feel good about.”

Mason was more forthcoming about Clement Lenglet’s future; the Frenchman is on loan from Barcelona.

He added: “Right now it’s not on my mind but I would say about Clem is that he is the type of character we want around the training ground, he is professional, he does it right.

“He’s vocal and the more people we can keep hold of and get in the more beneficial it is.”

Lucas Moura will leave Tottenham at the end of the season.

The Brazilian forward has struggled for fitness and form this campaign with no goals in his 17 appearances.

Moura missed a large chunk of the first half of the campaign with a tendon injury and since his return after the World Cup has been involved in several difficult moments for Spurs, being sent off in a 1-1 draw at Everton before his error resulted in Liverpool scoring a stoppage-time winner last month.

Arguably his best moment in a Spurs shirt was when he netted a hat-trick in 2019 at Ajax that sent Tottenham through to a first Champions League final in the most dramatic fashion.

Spurs have now confirmed this term will be Moura’s last and he will get the chance to bid farewell to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium faithful in Saturday’s home match with Brentford.

“Wherever I am, my heart will always be here. You are my club,” Moura said on Tottenham’s official Twitter feed.

“It has been the greatest honour to defend this badge. Every flick, every tackle, every leap, every goal.

“From the highest of highs to the lowest lows, from the beginning to the end, you sung my name. This has been my dream.

“This will always be my home. Some nights we will never forget, writing history together. I will always love you no matter where I go. We will meet again.”

Moura has scored 38 goals in 219 appearances since he moved to Tottenham in the winter transfer window of 2018.

“We would like to thank Lucas for his tremendous service to our club and wish him the very best for the future,” an official club statement read.

“We shall provide a further update on our wider released and retained player list following the conclusion of the 2022/23 campaign.”

Xabi Alonso has confirmed he will still be in charge of Bayer Leverkusen next season.

The former Liverpool midfielder had been linked to the vacant head coach role at Tottenham during the past month.

Alonso has impressed in his first senior managerial position after he guided Leverkusen out of relegation trouble in the Bundesliga and into the Europa League semi-finals since his appointment in October.

With Julian Nagelsmann no longer a contender for the role at Spurs and Burnley boss Vincent Kompany signing a new deal earlier this month, Alonso remained one of the bookkeepers’ favourites to replace Antonio Conte.

But speaking at a press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-four second leg with Roma, Alonso said: “I’m happy here with the team and the club.

“I’m not worried about my future.”

Asked by a Bild reporter if that meant he would still be in charge of Leverkusen next season, Alonso replied: “That’s correct.”

Harry Kane would not want to risk tarnishing his Tottenham legacy by leaving the club in the summer, according to former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov.

After another turbulent campaign at Tottenham which will end without silverware, England captain Kane has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Manchester United.

Berbatov helped Spurs lift the League Cup in February 2008, which remains the club’s last trophy, before making the switch from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford just over six months later.

Kane is set to enter the final year of his Spurs contract during the summer, but recently spoke of his determination to restore a strong culture at the club, which is now on a third manager of the season.

Berbatov, who went on to win the Premier League twice with United, can empathise with Kane’s dilemma, but believes the 29-year-old’s heart remains very much at Tottenham where he is now the record goalscorer.

“I can understand and can relate to his situation. I feel for him, but at the same time I think he is going to stay at Spurs,” Berbatov told the PA news agency.

“His legacy now is so great that he cannot force himself to tarnish it – when you say Spurs, it is Harry Kane and when you say Harry Kane, it is Spurs.

“They are connected forever because he is the leading goalscorer of the team, of the country (England national team) and probably is going to break Alan Shearer’s record for most goals in the Premier League as well.

“So it is down to him to know what is important for him – (for) his legacy with Spurs, which is unbelievable now.

“(As for) personal records, it is important also to win something before he is finished playing football. It is up to him to decide.”

Former Bulgaria striker Berbatov, speaking on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, added: “At one point, Spurs are probably going to win something and produce more consistency.

“Every season they have that intent, that this is going to be the defining season, but so far, it didn’t work.

“At one point, I am sure it is going to work, but when is that going to be? I don’t know.”

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has also come in for criticism in the wake of a campaign which saw the departures of head coach Antonio Conte and then Cristian Stellini, with Ryan Mason eventually stepping in until the end of the season.

Berbatov believes there has to be a sense of collective responsibility from the training ground to the board room.

“Again they are not at the place that they wanted to be in the start of the season. It is nothing new and everybody connected with Spurs knows it,” said Berbatov, who scored 46 goals over a two-year spell with Tottenham.

“Every season Spurs start with a big expectation based on everything they have in their disposal – a great stadium, the great facility to train, great players as well.

“But while the season is progressing, even if they start strong, then they are declining and that inconsistency kicks in and they start to suffer from it.”

Berbatov added: “It is a shared responsibility – probably 40 per cent the manager, 40 per cent the players and 20 per cent goes to the owners, the people running the club, because it has been a long time since winning a trophy like when I was there.

“At one point Spurs reached the Champions League final and they had a great run with (Mauricio) Pochettino.

“But most of the time that disappointment is there because (after) starting on a strong foot, then slowly and surely they continue to drop down (the table) and don’t achieve what they have wanted to achieve at the end of the season.”

While Tottenham may be well out of the running for a top-four finish, they could yet still qualify for Europe again via one of the other UEFA competitions.

Berbatov, 42, hopes another of his old clubs Bayer Leverkusen can go on to reach this season’s Europa League final – if they can get past Roma, now managed by former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.

“They have another leg, another obstacle in the case of (Jose) Mourinho and his (Roma) team, but I think they can manage to do it,” said Berbatov. “With me being at the final to watch in person, I would like to see them there.”

:: Dimitar Berbatov featured in Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s 2022/23 UEFA Europa League campaign content, Mission Masterclass. You can view episode two in full on UEFA’s official YouTube channel

Unai Emery says Aston Villa are determined to grasp the possible “last opportunity” of European football next season.

Villa have slipped to eighth in the Premier League after back-to-back away defeats to Manchester United and Wolves, eight points behind fifth-placed Liverpool with three games remaining.

But overtaking sixth-placed Tottenham remains very much a target, and that would happen as early as Saturday if Villa could beat them at home by three goals.

Boss Emery said: “We’re three points behind Tottenham, everybody wants to enjoy this moment and play this match with the supporters.

“The last two matches against Manchester and Wolves we lost, but it’s not changed our good moments we are taking at home with our supporters.

“We deserve this opportunity because the last five matches we won at home and those 15 points have helped us be here.

“We have to be positive, to be happy and very focused because it could be the last opportunity.

“Or maybe it could be a very good opportunity to keep playing key matches, where me as a coach and the players can improve and build and take challenges in the new direction.

“We are playing for one place in Europe and playing against teams like Tottenham, Liverpool and Brighton.

“They are different teams but they’re amongst the biggest teams in the Premier League this year.”

Emery took charge at the start of November with Villa in free fall.

They had won only two of their first 11 league games under Steven Gerrard before his sacking.

Emery brought in defender Alex Moreno and striker Jhon Duran during the January transfer window, but the Spaniard has largely been working with players who served under Gerrard and he is likely to strengthen the squad this summer.

“The club is working to try to build and create a great way for the progression and the next years,” said Emery.

“Of course, we are trying to use my experiences as well to build with the players we have now and the work we’re doing here.

“The club will work thinking about the next year, but we have to be focused 100 per cent on the next match because the football is now.”

Villa have rattled off five home wins – against Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and Fulham – since losing to Arsenal on February 18.

Emery said: “We were very successful away and were competitive. We started to have some doubts at home before the last five matches we won.

“And now it’s exactly different. At home we’re feeling very strong and competitive and we’re winning difficult matches and playing very well.

“Away in the last three matches we haven’t been playing like we have been doing. That is one issue I’m working on and analysing with the players.

“Overall we are making very good progress individually and collectively as a team.”

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