Antonio Conte won’t ‘force’ Harry Kane’s contract situation at Tottenham amid Manchester United links
The England captain broke the club’s long-standing goalscoring record earlier this season, edging out Jimmy Greaves to make Spurs history.
Still, the 29-year-old will soon enter the final year of his contract and is increasingly linked with a summer move to Manchester United.
Kane has publicly stated that further contract negotiations will begin in the coming weeks and months, although missing out on the first four could complicate matters for the club.
Uncertainty remains over Conte’s future and he has no desire to get involved in talks between Chairman Daniel Levy and Kane’s camp.
“You know very well that in this type of situation it is difficult for the coach to force the situation on one side or the other,” Conte said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.
“There’s the player and the club to try to find the right situation. Of course I can tell you that every manager wants Harry Kane in his team, but there are a lot of different situations that you have to see to find a situation. It’s on the player and the club, not on me.
“My assessment, my decision, I can tell you that Harry is a really important player for this team, the most representative player in this team. You know the importance he has in this team.
“Finishing in the top four could be very important for everyone. First of all for the club, for the players, the manager and the fans.
“Of course, if you finish in the top four, a lot of situations are easier.”
This summer, Kane turns 30 and that only increases the feeling that the club’s top scorer needs to add silverware to go along with the plethora of individual accolades on his CV.
But Conte sees no reason for the Spurs striker to slow down after celebrating a milestone birthday in July.
He added: “When you start to get older, you start to be really, really good at paying attention to all aspects of your playing life. Taking a lot of yourself on the pitch and off the pitch.
“We are talking about a player (in Kane) who shows every day that he is a very, very good professional.
“I see for him, for the rest of his career, a bright future because he takes care of himself, not only on the pitch but off the pitch.
“That’s the key when you’re over 30, if you take care of yourself then you continue to stay on top.
“Of course Cristiano Ronaldo is a very good example. We have a lot of important players, who went on to have great, great careers for the rest of the time they played.”
Although nothing has been confirmed by Tottenham or their manager, Conte is expected to leave when his current term expires this summer.
The Italian could clinch back-to-back top-four finishes but admits disappointment remains at his failure to end Spurs’ trophy drought, which dates back to 2008.
“Of course, in my mind and in my heart, there is always the will to lift the trophy. For this reason, since my arrival at Tottenham, I have tried a lot to push the total environment in the right direction”, insisted Conte.
“After a year and a half we have improved many aspects but we have to keep working on this path and sometimes during this path I think we failed.
“We failed because we weren’t prepared for the right pressure and the right stress. I think we’re working on that aspect.
“It hasn’t been a good season to lift a trophy, but at the same time I can tell the fans that we are working very hard to make them proud and to try to get this club to be optimistic about the future and ready. to lift trophies.”
Additional PA Reports