Levy played his usual string of negotiating tactics with Manchester City this summer, and they are now entering his realm with Harry Kane’s future still hanging in the balance in the lead up to deadline day.
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We are back here again.
Same club, similar scenario, and with Daniel Levy again the main protagonist.
The clock is now really ticking on Harry Kane’s hopes of securing a move to the Premier League champions.
How it got this far when Kane told his club he wanted to leave in May is astonishing and equally unsurprising.
But that’s how the Tottenham owner wanted, of course, and Manchester City had no choice but to play ball with the master of the transfer negotiations.
They would have known it the whole time. However, for Pep Guardiola, it will be a slight nuisance when he lines up his first goal in City blue once the deadline has passed.
Because this is the result we are all striving to achieve. If we’re not, then something seriously wrong has happened.
The fact that City are still pursuing a deal with Kane suggests that they are willing to go to great lengths to get him, and that a deal – even with Levi – could be struck somewhere.
Whether it is at the asking price of £160m is another matter, but also largely unimportant at this point.
If City – backed by his sovereign wealth – had not believed this, they would have moved forward by now.
While for the owner of the spurs, why fix what was not broken.
Once the England captain has delivered even the slightest hum that he wants to move on, you can bet your last pound that Levi would have made an exit strategy.
City’s interest in that business plan pushed to the fore this summer, but they had to stick to the rules of the Levy Rules.
Kane’s contract that didn’t expire until 2024 gave Levi the bargaining chip he needed to reap the full rewards.
The seed may have been planted when Kane signed that deal back in 2018.
And you suspect that one person at Man City would have thought that an opening £100m bid would tempt Levi to sell quickly, especially when only £75m was offered up front.
Since then, he’s made all the same sounds, that Kane is not for sale, and that he’s not going anywhere.
Soon after, it was reported that Levi stopped taking calls from Man City. Refusing to even entertain the possibility of his star flying into the nest.
But he knows better than anyone that keeping a player unhappy is counterproductive training.
He also knows better than anyone how to sell a vulgar player for a bigger profit. Hence all the familiar tactics to raise its price.
The parallels with Gareth Bale, Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric were really good ballet, as was the same process that Levi likes to work through.
City was also aware that getting into discussions about one of Levy’s assets would incur a transfer premium, in addition to the headaches that come with it.
It’s a price they’re willing to pay for a player that undoubtedly gives them a greater chance of adding even more jackpots to their trophy treasury.
Where will Kane play football after August 31? Have your say below.
That alone deserves their part in this summer’s long-running transfer saga, while Kane will get the opportunity he’s been craving for so long.
However, make no mistake – the winner in this fight was always Daniel Levy.
Yes, Tottenham’s greatest scorer in recent memory would lose. But in return, he will – in the end – deliver a heavy blow to a player who has just reached his peak in professional and value terms.
It is almost certain that City will improve their display. Levi would squeeze every last drop of cash from them and approach the number he first picked out of the blue and didn’t expect anyone to meet.
If anything, Real Madrid’s £160m bid for Kylian Mbappe – who is entering the final year of his contract – will only solidify Levy’s determination.
At the same time, it would also give him the last shred of perspective he needed to agree to the move.
Selling Kane next summer won’t attract big fees.
It wouldn’t be lost on Levi. Nor is the fact that there is no guarantee about how long Kane – 28 years old – will continue to perform at the highest level.
In the midst of Tottenham’s fresh start under Nuno Espirito Santo, Kane’s loss to a club not currently considered a close rival appears to be a good thing.
Despite winning on opening day, Spurs are still in the streets behind City in terms of challenge.
Team building time around Kane began to evaporate when Mauricio Pochettino was delivered the P45.
So it makes sense for Levy to step up, take the windfall and reinvest in Spurs’ future.
But he already knows that.
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