Harry Kane may want out of Tottenham but new manager Nuno Espirito Santo sent a bold message Friday: “Harry is our player.”
The England captain has indicated he wants a change of scenery after Tottenham's seventh-place finish in the Premier League left it out of the Champions League, but Nuno said he expects the striker to return.
“Look, Harry is our player, period. No need to talk about anything else," Nuno said in his first news conference as Tottenham manager. “Now is the moment for Harry to recover his energy, to rest. When Harry comes again, we have time to speak.”
Kane, who is under contract with Tottenham until 2024, is on a break after helping England reach the final of the European Championship.
“Now is the moment for Harry to rest, to prepare for what’s coming," Nuno said. “I’m looking forward for him to join the group and start working together.”
Tottenham's finish in May means its only European involvement next season will be in the less lucrative and new third-tier Europa Conference League.
Nuno left Wolverhampton at the end of last season, signing a two-year contract at Tottenham after the north London team's chaotic search for a successor to Jose Mourinho.
“I’m excited to work with all the players. Of course Harry is a top player, one of the best in the world. What is best (is) to work with the best players around — and Harry is one of those,” Nuno said.
Kane is a three-time Golden Boot winner, including last season. Along with his 23 league goals, Kane led the league with 14 assists.
His 166 Premier League goals rank Kane seventh all-time, nine goals behind Arsenal great Thierry Henry.
Tottenham hosts Premier League champion Manchester City — one of the clubs that could afford Kane — for its season opener scheduled Aug. 15. Nuno said he has “no doubts” about Kane.
“What I wish is for Harry to recover well, to have a good rest. When he arrives, he will feel that every one of us has to commit themselves to become better. We are very ambitious. We are ambitious people. We want to do it well and we count on Harry on that.”