Ange Postecoglou revealed Harry Kane told him on his first day as Tottenham manager that he wanted to leave the club – and said Spurs fans have the right to “mourn” his imminent exit.
Tottenham’s all-time record goalscorer is heading to complete a £100m move to Bayern Munich, which will bring a 19-year stay at the club to an end.
The 30-year-old’s future has been a major talking point over the summer after Spurs’ eighth-placed finish left them without European football – but Postecoglou said Kane had already made up his mind when they first met a month ago.
“I had a conversation with Harry the first day I arrived, he was upfront and honest and I was the same,” said Postecoglou.
“You kind of get an indication that he had made up his mind that if the clubs agreed a deal, he would go.
“His emphasis was [to resolve his future] before the first game, that was mine as well, and there’s been nothing along the way that made me feel like there was anything else other than this outcome.”
Asked if he tried to convince Kane to stay, Postecoglou replied: “No, I didn’t see the point in that. Whatever I was going to say wasn’t going to be relevant to how he felt, being here for the last month.
“I could plan this grand vision but I’m sure he’s heard it all before. Not that I was going to make a pitch for him, but my feeling was, ‘we’re going to get to know each other over the next month’.
“If [there was no agreement], he was happy to stay. He wasn’t forcing it on me, he was very professional about it. I tried to treat him with the respect that a player of his standing deserves.”
Postecoglou: Fans have right to mourn Kane exit
Kane first joined Tottenham’s youth academy in 2004 and has scored 280 goals for the club’s first team. But the England captain is set to end his Spurs tenure without a trophy for the club.
The forward led Spurs to the Champions League final in 2019, as well as two League Cup final appearances, but Postecoglou says Kane’s lack of silverware at the club should not diminish his achievements.
“That’s a little bit unfair on Harry as well,” said Postecoglou when asked about Kane ending his spell without a trophy.
“They’ve got close a couple of times. But in this business, that’s the reality of it. Unless you lift a trophy that kind of thing is branded against you. But that doesn’t diminish his contribution.
“It’s only fair on a day like today that our supporters do have a sense of mourning and loss, as despite the lack of success at the club, he’s been a hero to them.
“Again, him going doesn’t change the vision of what I bring to this football club. It’s fairly obvious that a club of this stature has to find a way to win things. You can do that in very different ways, I have a very specific way to do it and that’s what I’m going to focus on. That’s all I’ve done in my career, play in a certain way and that’s my challenge as well.”
How do Spurs replace Kane?
Postecoglou stressed during his press conference that Kane leaving does not change his project to rebuild Spurs, as he was planning on the deal to happen.
However, the Australian admitted that there is no like-for-like replacement for the outgoing England captain.
“I don’t think there’s a like-for-like replacement for Harry,” he said. “We’ve been planning for this for a while. It doesn’t take too much investigative work to realise this was going to happen. We were planning for it to happen.
“This doesn’t change things dramatically from what we are trying to build. There is movement in the squad. Some players will seek opportunities elsewhere, there are still three weeks to go in the window. That’s not because Harry’s gone, that’s always been in the plan.”
Asked if he has a list of forward options to replace Kane, Postecoglou said: “It doesn’t work that way. It’s not my wife handing me a shopping list to get bread and milk for the kids.
“We knew it was coming. From our perspective, we are preparing for Brentford. There won’t be anyone incoming between now and Sunday.”
Postecoglou added that James Maddison, who was one of the Spurs boss’ first signings at the club, could help spread the goals around the team.
“You can’t replace [Kane] with one player and the one place I feel the club needed was midfield threat. And that’s what Maddison brings.
“If Harry’s gone, we want to spread [the goals] out and Maddison provides that. The way he’s been in training the and way he embraces the club, he plays the way we want to play.”
Watch Tottenham’s first game of the post-Harry Kane era as they visit Brentford live on Sky Sports this Super Sunday; kick-off 2pm.
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