WEDNESDAY'S BIG STORIES

The mastermind behind Kane’s transfer tactics

Charlie Kane may have earned his role as Harry Kane’s agent on merit.
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He may be a negotiating mastermind, a savvy football operator with the perfect skillset to maximise his client’s career.
But the position of the apostrophe in the sentence above suggests that is probably not the case.
For Charlie Kane, owner of sports management business CK66 Ltd, has just one client. His brother.
And unfortunately for Charlie, the last few days have seen him go from the little mentioned sibling and agent of England’s captain, to the meme-worthy figure at the centre of the biggest transfer tussle of the summer.
There's something quite nice about an elite footballer employing a family member in this way.
But one of the issues Harry Kane has in his, frankly justifiable, attempts to get away from Spurs, is his six-year contract. A contract that his brother negotiated. And a contract has no wriggle room for an early exit.
Few would have predicted the exact nature of Tottenham’s decline since the Kanes put pen to paper on that deal. But it should not come as a total surprise to anyone who knew anything about the club that Spurs have struggled to maintain the level they were at in 2018.
Charlie's contract has left his brother in a tricky position; wanting a move but with very few cards to play.
Frankly, one of the only moves open to Kane to speed up the process was to make life difficult by stalling on his return to training.
But it was the nature in which he did so that needed to be carefully managed.
As it is, the Kanes are still in the same position they were in before, needing City (or any other club who want Harry, but likely City) to stump up close to the £150m Spurs are asking for if the transfer is to happen.
But the manner in which Charlie, presumably, has stage-managed the operation has been shambolic at best, losing the support of many of his brother’s biggest fans and opening him up to criticism from pundits and ex-players across the game.
There is always a chance that we’re witnessing a masterplan that nobody has read.
That Charlie took time out from his packed schedule, stepped off the Brent-esque motorbike in his office (which may or may not be a converted shed), and strategised an ingenious plan to get Harry out of north London as quickly as possible.
But the leaked stories on Tuesday that Harry is simply returning late from holiday and feels that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion screamed of a camp surprised by the level of vitriol their actions have spawned. And those leaks suggested the presence of an agent with nothing more than an entry-level understanding of negotiation and public relations.
Considering that Kane and Kane are up against Daniel Levy in these negotiations, things do not bode well.
Harry’s best hope now is that City offer enough to get him his move, preferably before Charlie makes any other mistakes.
And maybe, after this is all over, it should be time for Harry to part company with CK66 Ltd and let the business sink or swim on its own merit. I could hazard a guess which of those outcomes it would be.

IN OTHER NEWS

Jose Mourinho is in that early phase of his time at a new club where he’s charming and funny and does enough for fans to hope that it might turn out different this time. That maybe they are the ones who can change him.
But one of the consistent flaws in Mourinho’s behaviour in each of his last four managerial jobs has been an inability to mesh with the mentality of the younger generation of footballers. And tucked away in a supposedly quirky video released by AS Roma this week was a worrying comment, one that suggests he isn’t even trying to understand the mindset of his young players.

AS Roma coach Josè Mourinho reacts during the Pre-Season Friendly match between AS Roma and Montecatini at Centro Sportivo Fulvio Bernardini on July 15, 2021 in Rome, Italy.

Image credit: Getty Images

The target in this case?
Fortnite.
A nightmare. Football players, they stay all night playing that sh*t, and the next day they have a game.
Mourinho said it with a smile on his face, a joke, a jest, a supposedly light-hearted little comment that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
But this is what Mourinho does. If this were a relationship we were talking about rather than a football manager's career then you could accurately describe it as gaslighting.
And it will turn sour eventually in Rome for Mourinho, probably midway through either his second or third season. Unless of course he’s changed for good this time. But that's what gaslighters always want you to think. Don't put any money on it.

IN THE CHANNELS

Preston North End warmed up for the new season with a 5-0 win in a pre-season friendly at Deepdale this week.
That in itself isn’t particularly noteworthy.
But what does make the result interesting is that nobody knows who was on the receiving end of the 5-0 hammering.
Throughout the club’s official match report there was no mention whatsoever of the opposition, and then right at the foot of the article came this clincher:
Please note the opposition requested not to be named. Following further discussions between both clubs, it was agreed that Preston North End could share details of the result and the scorers, without naming the opposition.
Which begs two questions:
Firstly, who on earth was it? The rumour mill has thrown up all sorts of suggestions of top-flight clubs in the Lancashire area, but the name of the opponent remains a mystery.
And secondly, how bad are Preston if a loss to them is considered so shameful that the opposition don’t want anyone to know they were even there?

HAT-TIP

The ever-interesting Adam Bate has taken a deep dive into the pedigree of new Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira. The Sky journalist talks to former Man City strategy and performance manager Simon Wilson about the Frenchman’s evolution from reluctant coach to Premier League manager.
Wilson still remembers the initial conversation in which the pair discussed the next move. The verdict from Vieira was surprisingly emphatic. "The first thing he said was, 'I know I don't want to be a coach. No way in the world do I want to be a coach. I just could not do it.'"
Read the full article by Adam Bate HERE

RETRO CORNER

All of this talk of Harry Kane being a £150m footballer is a far cry from his early days in the Spurs first team, where he was a likeable and clearly talented forward but with a bit of a comical streak.
And nothing really sums up that era of Kane’s career better than when he went in goal during the Europa League tie against Tripolis.
Kane scored a hat-trick in that match, but the Tottenham centre-forward going between the sticks maybe topped the lot as moment of the night… second only maybe to Erik Lamela’s first rabona goals for Spurs.

COMING UP

The Champions League qualifying third round continues, with Benfica facing Spartak Moscow in arguably the headline fixture. Yes it’s important for the two clubs, but I’d understand if you opt to watch the Olympics coverage instead on this occasion.
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Andi Thomas thankfully has better representation than the captain of England, so will resist the urge to go on strike and will be here with tomorrow's Warm-Up.
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