Harry Kane has no regrets over trying to force move from Spurs

  • England captain confident saga has not tarnished reputation
  • Team will take knee in Hungary, says Kalvin Phillips

Harry Kane has insisted his conscience is clear after his unsuccessful attempts to force a move from Tottenham to Manchester City.

Kane, who is poised to captain England in their World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Thursday night, made clear that he had no regrets about trying to engineer a move. The striker’s hopes of a lucrative transfer fell through after the Premier League champions decided not to meet Spurs’ £150m asking price, but he is confident the saga has not tarnished his reputation.

“I don’t think so,” Kane said. “Anyone involved in the football industry knows the ins and outs and I was calm with the situation. It was between me and the club. When you know the truth and you know what is going on, your conscience is clear. I have had ups and downs and I know a lot of people who know I am a professional athlete and dedicate my life to this game.

“My focus moving forward is to win silverware at Tottenham and this year is no different. We have started brilliantly in the Premier League with three wins and we have a new manager. This is my focus. We want to win as many games as possible and get that trophy I have wanted all my career.”

Kane, who played a key role in England reaching the final of Euro 2020, has dominated the headlines since announcing in May his desire to leave Spurs. However the 28-year-old said he had not allowed the uncertainty over his future to hurt his focus.

“I am pretty good at getting away from everything,” Kane told TalkSport. “After the final I was in England for a few days and then went on hols for a couple of weeks and I was rarely on my phone. I know there was a lot of noise around me but I was calm. I knew the situation between me and the club. Everyone had their opinions but I am fully focused with club and country and looking forward to a great year.”

Kalvin Phillips has said the risk of being booed by Hungary’s supporters will not deter England from taking the knee before kick-off at the Puskas Arena. Hungary have been ordered to play their next three home Uefa competition matches behind closed doors because of “discriminatory behaviour” by their fans at Euro 2020, but Gareth Southgate’s players have no plans to drop the anti-racism gesture.

“I obviously know about the situation and how it’s been over there but it’s not happened yet so I can’t really say anything on that,” Phillips said. “I just know that us as a group know we’ll carry on taking the knee because it’s important for us, important for our country and to fight racial abuse.”

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Phillips, who has been voted as England’s player of the year by supporters, believes the fight against discrimination is moving in the right direction. England were booed by a section of their own fans when they took the knee before games against Austria and Romania at the Riverside Stadium before Euro 2020 but the gesture received a better reception during the tournament.

“It’s hard to say we’re starting to win but we’re going in the right direction,” Phillips said. “The boos at Middlesbrough were disappointing and heartbreaking for us but as time went on, the more vocal we were that we were going to take the knee and support what we believe in, I think a lot of fans understood that and they did switch the other way and carried on cheering for us.”


Jacob Steinberg

The GuardianTramp

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