In a season of mixed fortunes so far for Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps the only consistent sight has been Harry Kane’s ability to find the net as he chases down the club’s all-time goalscoring record.
Losing to Arsenal and Manchester City, Spurs face a battle to finish in the top four – still no closer to Monday’s game at Fulham with 265 goals, one shy of Jimmy Greaves’ 1970 landmark.
The striker’s place in history is no doubt, but there have been fresh questions about what the future holds after recent reports linked him with a summer move to Manchester United.
Kane is entering the final 18 months of his contract and no negotiations over fresh terms have taken place since August 2021, when a potential switch to Manchester City failed to materialise.
Then the 29-year-old England captain led the line impressively and consistently found the target, bringing his situation back into sharp focus.
Kane’s involvement in the World Cup and Spurs’ focus on the January transfer window has limited the opportunity for talks between the two parties. But talks are planned for once the winter market closes and, if the circumstances are right, he is open to signing a new deal.
How Tottenham’s campaign ends – they remain in the Champions League and FA Cup – as well as their recruitment and prospects of success are certainly key factors. Although the offer to Kane will have obvious importance, the plans and ambitions of Spurs have always been central to his thinking.
It is well documented that Kane’s wish would be to win trophies at Tottenham and it is said that he is focused on doing so in the coming months rather than leaving. Although all representatives are talking to possible suitors for their players, none have held serious discussions about an exit.
If an agreement cannot be reached soon, Tottenham will need to decide whether they look to sell Kane or let their prized asset go in his final year, as he could be free in 2024.
The attacker’s move to extend his career in north London is likely to be welcomed by the Spurs hierarchy and fans, especially amid uncertainty surrounding the status of head coach Antonio Conte. The Italian contract expires in June, although there is an option to extend.
Tom Keane quits Manchester United role
Tom Keane, who helped Manchester United’s summer business as head of football negotiations at Second, was expected to return to the club on longer terms, but instead returned to his law firm Brandsmiths.
Keane came in as a replacement for Matt Judge last June and worked on deals for Casemiro and Antonio in the summer, flying to Spain with director of football John Murtough to agree the Real Madrid midfielder.
His 11-week placement ended when the window closed, but since he was deemed fit, there have been talks of appointing him to the position full-time.
However, the uncertainty over United’s owners has changed plans, with several appointments on hold while the Glazer family go through a sale process that could see a big change at Old Trafford. The club are still looking to fill that role between now and the summer window.
Keane was not involved in United’s January job, with agents placing calls to him on potential targets referred to Murtough, his deputy Andy O’Boyle and head of recruitment operations Steve Brown. His departure also indicates that United never expected to do much business in the winter window as they prefer the summer window and also have the potential sale limit their spending.
It was Murtough along with a group of lawyers and other recruitment staff who completed the loan moves for Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland. Keane has returned to Brandsmiths, where he specializes in the legal side of sports contracts.
Chelsea close to signing up for U.S. it. tournament
Premier League teams are spending pre-season in the US. it. Is happening for a long time, but as revealed by The athletic Last year, the Games will have an extra edge this coming summer.
Rather than one-off games, a handful of clubs will take place in a tournament and organizers are now confident they have their first ‘Big Six’ team on board.
Chelsea, whose owners are Americans, are very likely to take part, which is a key breakthrough with other leading teams who choose what they think are better options for the summer.
Exact plans, timings and venues for the competition are still being finalized – as are the confirmed teams – but there is confidence that it will come together soon. Tottenham, who performed in South Korea last summer, are also considering joining the competition.
Chelsea spent last pre-season in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando and Charlotte. Arsenal, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were among those who also toured the US. it. Last summer, with more than 60,000 fans attended several games. Market is crucial for British clubs as they look to expand their fan base and capitalize on the international appeal of the Premier League.
Fresneda to choose between Arsenal and Dortmund
Real Valladolid’s right back Ivan Fresneda, 18, will make a decision on his next club on Monday, reports Guillermo Rai.
Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have both agreed a fee of €15m ($16.2m; £13.1m) for the player, with Fresneda set to be loaned back to the Spanish side for the rest of this season.
A full-back who relies heavily on his technical qualities, Fresneda stands out for his good ball control and his ability in attack, while rarely showing weakness in his defensive tasks. A host of other clubs have been pursuing the Spain under-19 international, including Newcastle, who have since dropped out of the race.
Brighton target Matvienko in London
Brighton & Hove Albion maintained their excellent run of form under Roberto De Zerbi with a draw at Leicester City on Saturday that saw them climb to sixth in the table.
This moves them firmly into contention for European qualification, which would be a remarkable achievement for a club who were promoted to the Premier League in 2017 and have not only sold some of their best players but also lost Graham Potter and His staff in September.
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Brighton’s rise has shown no sign of abating and de Zerbi hopes the January transfer market is being used to keep his side on a positive trajectory.
As the column reported in October, the Serbian arrived at the Amex Stadium no sooner than he targeted Shakhtar Donetsk left-sided centre-back Mykola Matvienko as a potential winter recruit.
Although Brighton were aware of the Ukraine international, he was not identified by their widely renowned scouting system and instead was a candidate pursued by the Zerbi.
Brighton have since inquired about the 26-year-old and although they do not want to pay the €25 million Shakhtar are looking for, De Zerbi is pushing his board to get a deal done.
Matvienko is currently in London, where he has family, with the Shakhtar squad being given a couple of days off.
The trip is not specifically related to a possible switch, but discussions about reuniting with De Zerbi in England are expected to continue.
The pair worked together at Shakhtar and De Zerbi is keen to strengthen Matviienko’s position, a wish which may have increased following a quadriceps injury suffered by Louis Colville.
Colwill joined Brighton on loan from Chelsea and became a regular starter, but his absence and anticipated return to Stamford Bridge in the summer means reinforcements are being considered and Matviienko is the candidate the Zerbi would like.
Newcastle like McTominay but won’t get him in January
Newcastle United have held talks over a January move for Scott McTominay, but any transfer is expected to have to wait until the summer, with Manchester United unwilling to sell in this window, writes Laurie Whitwell.
Eddie Howe was on the lookout for a new midfielder and he admired McTominay’s athleticism and ball carrying ability.
United were aware of Newcastle’s interest last summer and McTominay was considered again at St James’ Park this winter, given the 26-year-old’s status behind Casemiro in Erik ten Hag’s line-ups.
McTominay would be a key midfielder for Howe, while at Old Trafford, players need to be sold to increase Ten Hag’s spending capacity, with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules in place.
Sources insist there will be no sales in the closing days of the window as there is limited time to reinvest and Ten Hag sees McTominay as a valuable member of his team.
However, given Newcastle’s sustained appreciation of McTominay and the dire financial picture at United, the situation is set to be reevaluated in the summer.