Real Madrid eye move for Harry Kane as Zinedine Zidane era begins
Real Madrid are looking at the Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane as a potential recruit in the long term as the club approach a new era of rebuilding, with Cristiano Ronaldo's time at the club at a crossroads and another generation of big names required.
Real's interest was piqued 12 months ago when Kane scored seven goals in eight games including the two goals against Chelsea on New Year's Day, which was rewarded with a new contract the following month.
Real's relationship with Spurs is better than most with a decent understanding built with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, over the signings of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale. The Spanish club have paid close attention to the 22-year-old English striker for more than a year and although there is no prospect of a sale this month, he is regarded as the kind of player who would suit their acquisition policy of the biggest emerging names in Europe.
Kane is due an improved Spurs deal over the next four months that will take him above the club's highest earners, Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, who are paid around £60,000-70,000 per week. It is much less than he might anticipate earning at an established Champions League club but this time next year he may be able to command the kind of fee that would make Spurs listen.
There were overtures from Manchester United last summer which Spurs were in a position to ignore and while there is no appetite to sell Kane now, ultimately the Madrid route is a much easier one for Spurs to take than to sell to domestic rivals.
Kane signed a five-and-a-half-year deal on around £45,000 a week last February which secured his future until 2020, in keeping with Levy's policy of long-term contracts annually renegotiated with his biggest stars. Kane's progress since that last contract, as the league's highest goalscorer in 2015, means that he has earned his place among the club's best-paid players and the expectation is that he will sign a new deal before the end of the season.
The player has always been clear that he sees his future at Spurs, although his representatives have insisted that he should be paid according to his status, rather than having his loyalty taken for granted.
In addition to his player contracts, handled by the agent Marlon Fleischmann, he has signed a deal with commercial agents CAA Sports who also represent Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and Radamel Falcao. Kane has deals with BT Sport and Nike and is regarded as highly marketable.
He was ranked as the fifth most valuable footballer in the world by the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory, which is taken seriously at the Premier League and its leading clubs.
On the basis of performance statistics and contract length, the CIES valued Kane at €91m (£68m).
Kane, Philippe Coutinho (ranked 13th; value £54m) and Romelu Lukaku (18th, £50m) were the only three players in the top 20 at clubs who did not compete in the Champions League this season. (© Daily Telegraph, London)