Spurs' South American quartet free to play: Nuno
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Daniel Levy has a reputation for being one of football’s toughest negotiators. The Tottenham chairman is said to be tenacious and stubborn when it comes to transfers and contracts – and that trait has been particularly evident recently.
Tottenham endured a turbulent summer, with Nuno Espirito Santo eventually arriving as the new manager after a torturous search for Jose Mourinho’s successor.
The Portuguese coach was joined by new director of football Fabio Paratici and four new players.
But the window was most memorable for the transfer that didn’t go ahead: Harry Kane’s long-awaited move to Manchester City.
Levy stood firm, and with the benefit of three years remaining on Kane’s contract, he made the most of his advantage.
While many commentators and fans believed Spurs would have been better off cashing in on Kane, most are in agreement when describing Levy as a shrewd operator.
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Another piece of evidence has now emerged to back up that assertion.
According to The Athletic, Levy was the instigator in a canny move when it came to hiring Nuno earlier this year.
While it took much longer than expected to land a manager, following an exhaustive search which took in just about every available coach on the market, Spurs did at least protect themselves against the appointment backfiring.
That’s because Tottenham can reportedly sack the 47-year-old midway through his two-year deal without having to pay any compensation if he fails to secure a top-six finish in the Premier League.
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Levy obviously wants Nuno’s reign as manager to be a happy, long and successful one, but he is clearly also preparing for eventuality that it isn’t.
He did something similar with Kane on June 8, 2018. That is the fateful date when Kane put pen to paper on a six-year contract with Spurs – the one which ultimately scuppered his chances of sealing a dream move to Man City this summer.
Levy does not speak to the media much, but he did give an illuminating interview to the the Evening Standard back in 2019 in which he explained his philosophy.
“Best negotiator? I think that’s just false,” he said.
“There’s no such thing. You can be good, fair, hard. I don’t think anyone can define themselves as the best.
“I can’t help what other people say, but all I am doing is trying to become a bigger club and I am just protecting my assets.”
Protecting assets is exactly what Levy did with Kane over the summer, rejecting Man City’s £100million approach.
Although that threat has been dealt with for now, it is very likely to raise its head once more in 2022. Man City still need a striker and still have bundles of cash and Kane still wants to leave.
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Levy will need to use his much famed negotiating skills again in the upcoming transfer windows. It remains to be seen what exactly he will need them for.
Either he will stick steadfast to his current stance that Kane is not for sale. Or he could backtrack and entertain offers if they meet his sky-high valuation.
Following a rollercoaster summer, Kane is yet to score in the Premier League this season. However, his three goals in three games for England and six strikes in four matches in the Europa Conference League and Carabao Cup suggest it is only a matter of time.
Nuno will certainly need the England captain’s goals throughout the 2021/22 season. Then, once the campaign is over, Levy will almost certainly have to address the long-running saga of Kane’s future once again.
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