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Nuno Espirito Santo coy on Harry Kane as striker returns to training

FILE - Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

FILE - Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

Published Aug 13, 2021


LONDON – Striker Harry Kane returned to training with Tottenham Hotspur on Friday as speculation about his future continued to swirl.

The England captain, strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, had been training individually while quarantining at the club's training HQ since returning from a holiday in the Bahamas.

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New manager Nuno Espirito Santo was inevitably asked about Kane as he spoke to media ahead of Tottenham's Premier League opener at home to champions Manchester City on Sunday.

"Harry joined the group today, he trained, we had a talk. Of course it's a private conversation but everything is okay," Espirito Santo told reporters.

"He's preparing himself, like Bryan (Gil), like (Cristian) Romero, players that joined us later."

The Portuguese remained coy on Kane's future and whether or not he would play against City but denied that there had been confusion surrounding Kane's situation.

"He's here with us. He's a Tottenham player. He's here with us. We have to think about tomorrow. Let's prepare the training session of tomorrow and go day by day," he said.

"We still have the session of tomorrow to decide, like I mention to you Romero, Bryan, Harry, players that don't have too much and too many sessions with us."

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Asked to clarify the situation with regards to Kane's late link-up with the rest of the squad, Espirito Santo said: "I think there's no confusion at all.

"Harry had to submit himself to the protocols of the quarantine. He had to be in isolation. He did it here at The Lodge. There's a long period he had to be by himself. Then he produced a negative test and he joined the group."

Espirito Santo was named Tottenham manager in July after a long search by the club to replace Jose Mourinho who was sacked in April after 17 months in charge.

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Tottenham finished seventh in the Premier League last season, their lowest since 2009, and Espirito Santo faces a difficult task if they are to challenge for the top four.

New recruits include Spanish left winger Bryan Gil and centre back Cristian Romero but should Kane leave, the squad would need further strengthening.

"The squad needs balance. We have a very talented squad but needs to be balanced," Espirito Santo said. "Like I say, it's always hard to improve something that is good.

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"We have to be really, really accurate on the players we bring because have to bring things that we believe can make us better and stronger."

He could hardly have picked a tougher opener than a clash with City who will parade their new 100 million pound ($138.50 million) signing Jack Grealish. "We expect a tough match, very tough match. Of course they have quality players and a very talented squad," Espirito Santo added.