Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says the club want the "exceptionally talented" Harry Kane but the move is "finished" if Tottenham will not negotiate.
The 28-year-old England striker is currently in Florida after spending time in the Bahamas, and could be the best part of a week away from being able to join in with Spurs’ pre-season training.
That break has annoyed Tottenham who had expected him to report back earlier in the week, and the development comes amid speculation that City and Spurs are at odds over a reported £160 million asking price from club chairman Daniel Levy.
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City have already spent £100m on bringing in Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, but Guardiola is clear the club still want to find a way to agree a deal with Spurs.
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Speaking in a pre-Community Shield press conference, Guardiola said: “Harry Kane is an exceptionally talented striker and of course, we're very interested. But if Tottenham don't want to sell... Of course, we'll try.
"If Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it is finished. If they want to negotiate, many clubs would like to sign him. We are not an exception. We are very interested in him."
Inevitably, the former Barcelona boss was asked to comment on the decision of Barca’s president Joan Laporta to announce Lionel Messi’s departure from the club.
"It was a surprise,” he said.
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“Laporta was clear today about the reasons. As a supporter [of the club], I'd love him to have finished at the club. I've just incredible gratitude for the most extraordinary player I've seen in my life.
"All I can say is thank you so much, to bring Barcelona to another level, to allow Barcelona to dominate the world for a decade, and I wish him the best for the last few years of his career. He will not be forgotten.
"Hopefully one day we can say the best ever because he deserves it. But if president Laporta arrives in this situation, he should do it unfortunately because someone before didn't do well."
He was then asked if City would be keen to bring in the 34-year-old free agent, but he appeared to think a transfer would not be possible.
"We spent £40M on Jack Grealish. We paid £100M and brought £60M. He will wear the No.10 because we were convinced with Grealish and we were convinced Leo would continue at Barcelona, so now, he's not in our thoughts,” he claimed.
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