Man Utd transfer stances on Matthijs de Ligt, Timo Werner and Donny van de Beek explained

Manchester United transfer stances on Matthijs de Ligt, Timo Werner and Donny van de Beek have reportedly emerged. The trio have been tipped to leave Juventus, RB Leipzig and Ajax when the summer window reopens. And with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyeing a shot at Premier League title glory next season, they could be on the move to Old Trafford.

According to the Evening Standard, a defender isn’t the priority for United this summer.

Just last year they forked out £80million in order to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester, making the England international the most-expensive centre-back on the planet in the process.

United have seen Maguire impress, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly also improving in recent times.

But, despite that, the Red Devils maintain a long-standing interest in both De Ligt and Napoli powerhouse Kalidou Koulibaly.

De Ligt was linked with United last summer but, instead of moving to Old Trafford, he chose to join Juventus instead.

But he could be on the move already having struggled to adjust to life in Serie A since his departure from Ajax.

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United would like to sign the youngster as part of a swap deal that would see Paul Pogba head back to Juventus.

And Juventus could be tempted to cut ties with the Netherlands international if it means welcoming Pogba back to Italy.

Regarding Werner, he’s on United’s wishlist.

The RB Leipzig star has scored 21 times in the Bundesliga, flourishing ever since the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann as manager.

And he’s also found the net four times from eight Champions League appearances so far.

Werner and Lyon hotshot Moussa Dembele are both being eyed by United, who want a new striker.

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And they’re also likely to sign Odion Ighalo permanently, irrespective of their pursuits of other players in the Nigerian’s position.

Van De Beek is highly-rated at Old Trafford.

But it seems that United would only go after the Ajax star should Jack Grealish and James Maddison prove beyond their reach.

Grealish is their preferred option, despite the Aston Villa playmaker recently causing controversy by breaching quarantine rules.

And signing Maddison would be tricky given how Leicester are currently battling to secure the playmaker’s signature.

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Meanwhile, speaking in March, Solskjaer claimed his squad only needed two or three more signings to challenge for the title.

The Norwegian boss said: “For me it shows we are on the right track and improving and we are Manchester United and looking to catch the teams in front of us.

“We feel we are improving all the time.

“We know we lack one, two, three players to be considered a title contender and some experience and we know that.

“We are just going to start talking about going up the table, getting more points.”

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Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards plotting £88m double deal which affects Man Utd

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a double swoop on Borussia Monchengladbach for highly-rated duo Denis Zakaria and Marcus Thuram. The pair have both been shining lights in Marco Rose’s side which sits fourth in the Bundesliga, having led the table earlier in the season.

Their performances have attracted the interest of a number of big European clubs this season and it’s little wonder that the pair are both of interest to Liverpool.

Klopp has shown a willingness to return to his homeland in the transfer market since arriving at Anfield, signing the likes of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.

While under Brendan Rodgers Liverpool bought Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim.

Now Michael Edwards looks set to raid the Bundesliga this summer with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner also being targeted.

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German outlet Express claim that the Reds are eyeing a double deal for Zakaria and Thuram this summer.

Zakaria is a player who has attracted interest from both Manchester United and Arsenal in recent windows.

The Swiss international has established himself as one of the finest defensive midfielders in Germany this season.

The 6ft 2in powerhouse looks destined to move on in the near future and at the age of just 23 is already showing world-class credentials.

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It’s hard to see where Zakaria would fit into Liverpool’s midfield, given they already have a top class No 6 in Fabinho.

Yet one of the areas Klopp will be looking to strengthen is his squad depth.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss wants to build a second Liverpool team after this one and wants to ensure competition for places remains high.

Adam Lallana will be leaving at the end of the season on the expiry of his contract, meaning there will be one space in midfield.

Liverpool are looking to bring in another forward though, with Werner the club’s top target.

The Reds are set to lose Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to the Africa Cup of Nations next January, meaning they will be short in attack for up to a month.

Thuram could be the man to come in and fill the void, with the Frenchman reportedly being eyed as part of a double swoop.

He has five Bundesliga goals to his name so far this season in 25 outings.

The former Guingamp man is represented by super-agent Mino Raiola.

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Charlie Methven net worth: How much is the former Sunderland director worth?

Season 2 of Sunderland ‘Til I Die is available on Netflix now, giving fans insight into the club’s former executive director Charlie Methven. He left the role in December 2019 but still owns shares in Sunderland.

Methven was part of the consortium led by Steward Donald that bought the club in May 2018.

At the time of the takeover, Methven said: “This summer there needs to be a turnaround, as this is an organisation that is used to failure.

“The club has lost more games than any other club so there’s a real, proper job on our hands to get everyone facing in the same direction.”

During his time as Sunderland’s executive director, Methven helped improve the club’s finances and their marketing strategy.

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The ‘Big Seat Change Initiative’, where fans, staff and players replaced the Stadium of Light’s faded pink seats, won the Best Club Marketing Initiative at the 2018 Football Business Awards.

He also helped the Black Cats attract the largest average attendance for a third-tier club at more than 31,000 and the largest League One match attendance at 46,039 for their Boxing Day clash with Bradford, beating the previous record held by Leeds.

How much is Charlie Methven worth?

Methven’s exact net worth is not known, however, he does reportedly own six per cent of Sunderland.

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Reflecting on his time as a director at Sunderland, Methven said: “I’m really proud of what the whole club achieved, looking back now.

Back in March 2018, the assumption within football and with a lot of Sunderland fans was that Sunderland AFC was going to go into administration.

“When you’ve got a club that is losing £30 million per annum and is that much in debt, there’s really very little to keep it afloat once the billionaire stops writing the cheques.

“We came in trying to achieve the aim of turning it around without the pain and humiliation of bankruptcy and it was a very difficult task.

“We inherited a cost base where the club was costing over £50m a year to run, while the revenue base was predicted to be £15m.

“The previous management said there were parachute payments to fill some of that gap, but that ignored the fact that there was also a net transfer deficit of £20m (money owed to clubs on previous transfers).

“So it wasn’t just £30+m loss, there was also that £20m that the club needed to pay.

“So we had no option but to come in and slash and burn, while trying to get revenue rising simultaneously, which is easier said than done but the fans really helped us.”

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Man Utd chief Ed Woodward has chance to sign two fantasy transfer targets

Back in 2013, upon taking over at Manchester United, Ed Woodward compiled a list of four fantasy transfer targets. Neymar was on it, as well as Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller. But so too were Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale – and the Juventus and Real Madrid stars could be on the market when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.

Woodward has always liked going after big names, eager for United to be competing for some of the planet’s finest players.

That was why he went after Juan Mata in January 2014, signing the Spain international just months after he’d been crowed Chelsea’s player of the year.

After Mata came Angel Di Maria, who Woodward signed for a British transfer record of £59million.

Radamel Falcao came in on loan and in the time since United have also signed the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

Back in 2013, though, Woodward compiled a list of ‘fantasy’ transfer targets. Players he would love to bring to the club throughout his reign.

Muller was on it, with the Bayern Munich star regarded as one of Europe’s best players at the time.

And so too was Neymar, who was shining at La Liga giants Barcelona.

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But also on the list were Ronaldo and Bale, who were both Real Madrid players around the time it was put together.

And, this summer, they could be available.

Bale is expected to leave Real Madrid, seven years after moving to the Bernabeu in a huge £86million deal.

Despite angering fans with his love for golf, the Wales international has been a big success during his time in Spain.

He was on target as Real ended their agonising wait for the Champions League trophy with a 4-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in 2014.

And he scored a stunning overhead kick as Los Blancos won the trophy again four years later, beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final.

Bale has helped Real win four Champions League titles throughout his time at the Bernabeu but, this summer, a parting of the ways looks likely.

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Zinedine Zidane is ready to cut him loose and United, despite distancing themselves from talk of Bale signing in recent times, could be tempted.

He’s a player who would generate big income for Woodward given his status as a Galactico.

And he’s also somebody who, if you can get him back to his best, sits up their with the very best players on the planet.

Real will look to get rid of Bale to raise funds as they eye Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

And Woodward now has a genuine shot at bringing the player, who has been wanted by Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho in the past, to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo could also be available.

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Juventus players have agreed to go four months without being paid in order to help the club amid the coronavirus crisis.

But if things continue to worsen, they may have no choice but to cut Ronaldo loose after just two years in Turin.

United fans would love to see Ronaldo make a sensational return to the club he enjoyed such success with earlier in his career.

And that he played alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his spell at United could make a return a reality.

Woodward had Ronaldo on his list of four fantasy targets and he remains impressive on the pitch – and a financial goldmine off it.

United signing either player still appears difficult, especially given their interest in Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.

But Woodward may get the chance to sign them nonetheless. And what he does, should that happen, remains to be seen. 

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Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have advantage over Man Utd for Philippe Coutinho transfer

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all have good contacts with Philippe Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, claims Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol. Barcelona want to sell Coutinho this summer after a difficult two-and-a-half years for the Brazilian. Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 for £142million but has failed to live up to that price tag.

After a poor first full season at the Nou Camp, Coutinho went on loan to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich this term.

But Solhekol says Bayern are unlikely to pursue a permanent deal this summer.

Express Sport understands both Manchester United and former club Liverpool have shown an interest in Coutinho.

But Solhekol says a move to London could be on the cards, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all in the hunt for the player.

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However, he claims Barca would have to lower their asking price of £100m before any deal could take place.

“Philippe Coutinho’s agent has a big job on his hands,” Solhekol said.

“Barcelona want to sell him this summer. He is on loan at Bayern Munich but they are unlikely to make the move permanent.

“Barcelona want more than £100m for a player who will be 28 in the summer. That means there will be little resale value for any interested clubs.

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“Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has good contacts at Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs.

“A move to those clubs is possible, but Barcelona would have to drop their asking price dramatically or it would have to be a loan with an option to buy deal.

“Interested clubs know that Barcelona want to sell him this summer.

“They know that it was a big mistake for Barcelona to spend £142m on him.

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“I can’t see how this is going to end well for Barcelona.”

Meanwhile, United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Coutinho needs to return to the Premier League not with his former club.

“Listen, Coutinho, Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool was an amazing player,” Ferdinand said on Instagram Live.

“But since he’s left Liverpool, he hasn’t really done it yet.

“He struggled at Barca, struggled to fit in there, and then he hasn’t done amazingly well at Bayern. So I don’t know man.

“I think he’s a great player, huge talent, I think he needs saving to be honest with you.

“Coming to the Premier League, to the right team, is the saviour for him, I think he needs that.

“I would have said Man United, yes, before Bruno Fernandes turned up, but not now.

“Not Man United. And he played for Liverpool so it’s a difficult one, isn’t it?

“Can you come to Man United after playing for Liverpool? Rivalries are mad.”

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Man Utd transfer target Donny van de Beek denies Real Madrid agreement – ‘It’s all open’

Manchester United have not given up in trying to sign Ajax star Donny van de Beek in the summer transfer window and the Red Devils been handed a huge boost after the midfielder revealed he hasn’t agreed to a deal with anyone, despite being linked to Real Madrid.

Van de Beek is having another outstanding season for Ajax and the 22-year-old has once again showcased his all-round game.

So far this campaign he has scored 10 goals and has provided 11 assists in 37 appearances in all competitions.

It had previously been reported in Spain and the Netherland that Real were on the verge of signing the attacking midfielder when the transfer window opens after having agreed to pay a fee of £47million (€55m).

However, Van de Beek has now insisted that he has yet to decide where his future lies.

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“Playing in the sun is always nice, but no, I haven’t started taking Spanish classes,” he told Helden magazine.

“I still haven’t said ‘yes’ to anyone, it’s all open.

“I know what I have here, I’m loved by Ajax and I love Ajax.”

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Van de Beek came through the Ajax academy and his performances in the Eredivisie and the Champions League have also earned him nine caps for the Netherlands.

As for his future, the playmaker suggested that he is not only looking to a club whose system he can fit into but that he also wants guaranteed minutes.

“My feeling should be positive at a club, not only that they want me but also that I fit in their system of play,” Van de Beek added.

“Of course, I also want to know the game time they will give me.”

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Despite the arrival of Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford in January, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still looking to add another midfielder to his squad in the summer.

However, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag recently admitted that he hopes Van de Beek stays at the Dutch club.

“I do not think so [that he will leave],” Ten Hag said before seeing his side lose to Getafe in the Europa League.

“He has had a great evolution and has attracted international attention. There are players who are in the spotlight and then things change.”

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Robinho opens up on failed Chelsea move and Man City’s interest in Lionel Messi

Robinho has opened up on his ill-fated time at Manchester City, and the club’s failed attempt to sign Barcelona megastar Lionel Messi. The Brazilian spent two seasons at the Etihad after making a memorable transfer deadline day switch from Real Madrid.

City changed as a club forever in 2008 after they were bought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Group.

And one of the club’s first acts under the new ownership was to fork out £32million for Real Madrid ace Robinho.

The attacker was an instant success in Manchester, as his flair and goalscoring ability made him a star in the league.

He found the net 14 times in 31 Premier League games during his first season at the club, before leaving midway through his second season.

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Now, he has revealed that he actually spoke with the club’s new owner about other big-name players joining him.

City were on the verge of signing Kaka, before the Brazilian had a change of heart, and apparently went after Messi too.

“I spoke a couple of times with the owner, Sheik Mansour,” he told Spanish outlet Marca.

“He said he was going to do a great job signing Kaka and Messi.

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“I was champion in all the teams I played in except for City.

“If I regret anything it is not having given City a title, it is the only thing that makes me a little sad.”

The striker – then at Real Madrid – was expected to join Chelsea before making the City switch.

The Blues were so confident of a deal going through that they started selling replica shirts with his name printed on the back.

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And according to the man himself, that was what caused Madrid to pull the plug and send him to City instead.

“My goal was to go to Chelsea. Scolari told me it would make a difference for him on the team,” he added.

“But Real Madrid ended badly with them.

“They didn’t like Chelsea selling shirts with my name on it before the deal was done.”

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Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev postponed as Eddie Hearn drops hint when fight will happen

Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bout was due to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20 in what would have been the Britain’s first fight on home soil in two years. 

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Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed talks are taking place with Premier League giants Tottenham about rescheduling in July or August.  

“We’re speaking to Tottenham, we’ve postponed the 20th date,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports.

“We are working with them for dates in July and early August as well, when we hope we’ll be back.

“Hopefully we see that fight take place at the end of the summer.”

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Joshua’s defence against Pulev is the latest high-profile bout to fall victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tyson Fury’s trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder – which was due to take place in Las Vegas on July 18 – has been postponed until October.

Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing had a contingency plan in place in the event of Joshua’s clash with Pulev not being able to go ahead as planned, reserving use of Tottenham’s stadium on July 25.

Pulev recently admitted he expected the bout to be pushed back to that date.

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“Despite humanity’s most difficult fight to date and the underestimation of the effects on the world of the coronavirus,” the two-time world title challenger said.

“We will be forced to learn to live in a new, not so pleasant, way that millions of people around the world will be mildly unhappy.

“Despite the difficulties, we must find new opportunities to smile, to transform our lives so that despite all the unpleasant things, to remain happy and to believe in a better future, and that all of this is, after all, for good!

“This is exactly why, despite my real view of the situation, I strongly believe that a world title match can be held on the new date of July 25.”

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Luka Jovic transfer warning as former Chelsea ace identifies priority summer signing

Luka Jovic could struggle to displace Tammy Abraham in the Chelsea starting XI if he completes a move to Stamford Bridge this summer, according to Frank Sinclair. The former Blues defender has questioned whether Jovic is the type of signing Frank Lampard needs and has instead urged the club to sign a proven Premier League striker.

Chelsea are on the hunt for attacking reinforcements to support Abraham with Olivier Giroud out of contract and Michy Batshuayi likely to be sold this summer.

Jovic has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge after struggling to make an impact at Real Madrid following his £53m move from Eintracht Frankfurt last year.

The Serbian striker scored 27 times in the Bundesliga last season but has just two goals this term and angered Los Blancos officials by flying home to see his girlfriend when he was meant to be isolating due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to GentingBet, Sinclair said: “Luka Jovic is a very good player but when you look at centre-forwards, he’s pretty similar to Tammy Abraham in the way that he leads the line.

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“Taking into consideration that he’s struggled to get into the Real Madrid team, if he can’t get into the Real Madrid team, will he be able to get into the Chelsea team and do well?

“I’d be quite reserved when it comes to Chelsea signing Jovic. Just because you’re leaving a club of the size of Real Madrid, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to come to a club like Chelsea, settle in and score goals in the Premier League because it is a different ask for players that have come from abroad.”

Chelsea have also been linked with moves for Ligue 1 strikers Moussa Dembele and Victor Osimhen, but Sinclair believes the Blues need to sign a world class frontman who would walk straight into the starting XI next season – as opposed to someone who rotates with Abraham.

“Tammy Abraham has been excellent, but he has really had to carry the baton on his own all season,” said Sinclair.

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“Only now has Giroud come to fruition and led the line quite well but if Chelsea want to get into a situation where they are challenging Liverpool and Man City, then they need to add a world class centre forward.

“The club have been rumoured with centre forwards across the world; the likes of Jovic and Timo Werner, but for me, I’d like to see Chelsea bring in a proven Premier League striker – which is the hardest thing to do.

“It needs to be an experienced player, someone who is going to be No 1 when Tammy Abraham develops, because as a young striker around the country, there isn’t really any that are better than Tammy Abraham.”

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“Werner is an excellent player, who has obviously played well in Europe this season,” said Sinclair.

“There are talks about him going to Liverpool as well, which just shows how much he is sought after at the moment. If you look at his all-round game, you’d probably say that he has more to his game than Tammy Abraham at the moment.

“I do think that it is important for Chelsea to sign a striker this summer, and I think Chelsea will do their due diligence as to which player fits the whole scenario best.

“Chelsea will need to tap into the psyche of the player, determine what kind of character he is, which is just as important as to what he does on the pitch.”

The former Blues defender, who made 169 appearances between 1990 and 1998, also addressed rumours of a move for Lazio’s Ciro Immobile but does not think the Italian will be top of Lampard’s wishlist – despite 27 goals in 26 Serie A outings this term.

“Lazio is a big club with a massive reputation, so the fact that Immobile is scoring a lot of goals for them is something that I like,” he said.

“However, the Italian league is totally different – you get more opportunities in the Italian league to score goals and when you’re at a club like Lazio, you’re going to get your fair share of opportunities.

“I won’t take anything away from his record this season. He’s been excellent and he does look like a natural finisher but to play in the Premier League, you need more than that, especially given the way that Chelsea play.

“You have to take into consideration the build-up play of the player and how mobile they are. He’ll certainly be on the long list of strikers that Lampard will be looking at. Whether he is at the top of that list, I don’t know but his goals should help push him up that list.”

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Harry Redknapp reveals club Harry Kane would be suited to as Man Utd and Man City eye star

Harry Redknapp reckons Tottenham star Harry Kane would fit in perfectly at Manchester City, however, the former Spurs boss has urged the England international to stay in north London. Kane admitted last week he could leave Tottenham if the club fail to match his ambition.

Manchester United and City are said to be eyeing the striker, 26.

Reports this week claimed Tottenham have slapped a £200m price tag on their talisman in hope of fending off United and City.

And while Redknapp is desperate for Kane to stay in north London, the ex-Spurs boss has admitted the striker would fit in perfectly at City under Pep Guardiola.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Redknapp said: “He’s a fantastic professional, great lad. He wants to play and wants to win things.

“In the last year, I didn’t foresee what was going to happen at Tottenham. I could see them winning the Premier League title last year.

“I thought they were going to march on: they’ve got a great team, I loved [Mauricio] Pochettino.

“But they went into decline with that terrible run that they had and Jose [Mourinho] has gone in and found it hard to turn things around. They’ve done ok without being great.

“They need surgery in the summer but at the moment, is anyone going to spend money in the next year or two and going for big transfers?

“He’ll be looking at that and thinking what a player he would be for one of the top clubs.

“I don’t want to see him leave but what a centre-forward he would be for Manchester City, for example.

“He would be a great signing for any club. He’s a great player and a great professional.

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“But please God he stays at Tottenham. But he certainly won’t stay if he doesn’t see them pushing to win things.”

Kane insisted he’s ready to quit Tottenham if they can’t match his ambition.

Speaking on Instagram live on Sunday alongside Harry’s son Jamie Redknapp, he said: “It’s a good question. Obviously I get asked this question a lot. It’s one of them things. I couldn’t say yes, I couldn’t say no.

“I love Spurs, I’d always love Spurs, but it’s one of them things, I’ve always said if I don’t feel progression in the team or it’s going the right direction then I’m not someone to just stay there for the sake of it.

“I’m an ambitious player, I want to improve, I want to get better. I want to become one of the top top players.

“It all depends what happens with the team and how we progress as a team.

“So it’s not a definite I’m going to stay there forever but it’s not a no either.”

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