FRIDAY’S BIG HEADLINES
Kane lays the transfer clichés on thick
Harry Kane doesn’t do things by halves. And that goes for transfer talk too apparently.
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The Spurs striker’s extraordinary interview with Gary Neville on Sky Sports’ The Overlap was so packed full of transfer clichés that nobody would have believed it had a tabloid printed the exact same words.
But there they were, spilling out of Kane’s mouth: “The chairman might be thinking, 'If I could get £100 million for you, then why not?'” and “I never said I’d stay at Spurs for the rest of my career”.
Does this mean that the reams of transfer nonsense pumped out every window might actually be true?! And have footballers always talked like that? Or is it that the constant stories have changed how they speak? It's like a betting-friendly version of the age-old chicken or egg question.
Either way, there is now absolutely no doubt that Kane wants to leave Spurs. He couldn’t have been any clearer about that. Whether he will get to leave is another matter.
The problem for Kane is linked to one of the main topics of interest during his chatty golf session with Sky’s punditry maestro.
"It's a moment in my career where I have to kind of reflect and see where I'm at and have a good, honest conversation with the chairman," Kane said.
"I hope that we can have that conversation. I’m sure he’ll want to set out the plan of where he sees it, but ultimately it’s going to be down to me, how I feel and what’s going to be the best for me in my career at this moment in time.
But unless Kane downs tools, his immediate future isn’t going to be up to him. The England captain still has three years on his Tottenham contract, and is trying to leave at a time when the chairman’s reputation with the fans is at an all-time low. Selling Kane now is the last thing that Levy will want to do.
If a club were to come in with a giant transfer bid then no doubt Tottenham would accept it, and Manchester City or Manchester United still seem the likeliest to do just that. But it’s going to take A LOT of money for Spurs to let their biggest asset (aside from the stadium) leave the club in such a time of uncertainty.
Whatever this summer holds for Kane, it is now abundantly clear that his future at Spurs is going to be a constant theme throughout the next couple of months. Strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a long old ride.
Walking like Memphis
In stark contrast to the tough talks ahead for Kane, Memphis Depay is in the middle of one of the simplest transfer negotiations in history. But don’t just take my word for it; here’s the man himself:
Today, I am a free agent, so the negotiation should not be too difficult, my mother could do it!
The Dutchman is a free agent and representing himself this summer – taking a leaf out of Kevin De Bruyne’s book. And it appears like he’s going to talk himself into a move to Barcelona to boot.
Maybe players representing themselves is the future? I’m sure Mino Raiola would have a thing or two to say about that…
IN THE CHANNELS
Football doesn’t deserve Eni Aluko, but it’s damn lucky to have her.
The former England, Chelsea and Juventus forward has made the latest big move in her off-pitch career this week, joining LA’s new NSWL club Angel City as the sporting director tasked with putting together a squad to compete at the top level.
That’s a big job regardless of the context. But that context in this case is massively important.
Angel City is the only majority female-owned football club in the world, and counts the likes of Serena Williams, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria and Billie Jean King among its owners. That is some serious star power, and Aluko is one of their number now.
“It’s female led. Forget football, that is powerful,” she said this week. “That is really showing the future that we all want in terms of gender equality and diversity for leadership, a predominantly female-owned organisation.”
Aluko’s career has been quite extraordinary in many ways. And this latest step, moving from Aston Villa to LA, is another huge moment for a woman who acknowledges that she is setting a new standard.
“My life very much reflects somebody that [is] okay with being the first. I'm okay with breaking down barriers. I'm okay with breaking moulds and doing things a little bit differently. That comes with a target on your back sometimes, but I think that's just part of my purpose.”
You absolutely love to see it.
Roy Hodgson might not always be a manager to set the pulses racing, but at least you know he'll always be there.
Well, maybe not any more.
This weekend the Crystal Palace boss looks set to take charge of his final game in a managerial career that has spanned 45 years. I'll repeat that. FORTY. FIVE. YEARS.
And while Roy the Boy hasn't always got it right (that Andros Townsend joke was a loooong way from okay), he's a football coach who deserves to be remembered... and not least for that extraordinary interview which, while we can't embed due to some spicy language, is available here...
If that's too risky for you, here's a three-second snippet that sums up a large portion of his career:
Pat Nevin is a special sort of football pundit, the sort of deep-thinker that genuinely offers something new to the conversation. It was no different in his playing days of course, as he tells Kevin Garside in a fascinating interview in the i newspaper:
Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen are also part of the Nevin back catalogue. I asked about more modern writers, Milan Kundera for example. 'I read The Unbearable Lightness Of Being when I was at Chelsea,' he said, throwing up the delicious prospect of discussing the woman in the bowler hat with David Speedie and Kerry Dixon. 'I had to choose what I would share with team. Music was a much easier sell. I would play them something they might like, then hit them with The Fall, annoyed them to death.'
You can read the full interview HERE
And at the very least the story deserves respect for dredging this outstanding photo up from the archives...
It's the lull before the weekend storm, with Oxford United's attempt to overturn a 3-0 deficit to Blackpool in the League One Play-Offs being the pick of today’s matches.
The rest of the season-defining drama will have to wait for Saturday and Sunday, so why not turn over to Eurosport 1 and check out Friday’s Stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia, which promises to be a classic sprint stage.
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