Harry Kane’s attempt to clear up the situation surrounding his absence from the Tottenham training ground was labelled a ‘PR stunt’.
Kane released a statement on Friday having not shown up for pre-season tests on Monday as reportedly expected by Spurs, instead remaining abroad on an apparent extended holiday.
The England striker wants a move away from the club this summer, with Manchester City strong favourites to sign him, though the cost of any deal is proving to be a major obstacle.
Kane, meanwhile, has been criticised for his actions and has only spoken out five days after the furore began.
He posted on social media: “It’s almost 10 years since I made my Spurs debut. For every one of those years, you – the fans – have shown me total love and support.
“That’s why it hurts to read some of the comments this week, questioning my professionalism.
“While I won’t go into the specifics of the situation, I want to clarify that I would never, and have never, refused to train. I will be returning to the club tomorrow, as planned.
“I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise the relationship with the fans who have given me such unwavering support during my time with the club. This has always been the case as it is today. Harry.”
City boss Pep Guardiola on Friday confirmed the Premier League champions would be ‘very interested’ in the striker, but admitted a deal would be difficult to conclude.
He said: “If Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it is finished.”
Kane’s statement came after Guardiola had spoken to the media, and former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara questioned the timing of the release.
He told the Sports Bar: “For me, that reaction from Harry Kane is from that press conference and that is a huge PR stunt to say ‘this is potentially not going to happen’.
“They’ve got Jack Grealish, have spent some money. Lionel Messi is available now on a free and Pep will be on the phone trying to get him.
“All of a sudden Harry Kane might be thinking he needs to backtrack a little bit and get back onside with the Spurs fans.
“Are Spurs fans that fickle? Even though he’s the talisman, are you happy about it? I’m not happy about it, I’m annoyed.
“He could have done this on Tuesday and said ‘hold on a minute, I’m away. I’m coming back, I’m never going to not train for the football club. I’m just having a bit of an extended break after the Euros’.
“Everyone would have been ‘okay, no problem’.
“If he goes in a month’s time and Daniel Levy gets his money then you can have the debate about whether it was the right move and Spurs have got the right deal.
“He’s let this whole situation happen for four days then come out after Pep has said it might not happen.”
And while many fans will agree with O’Hara, a number of Kane’s former teammates have used their position to defend their pal.
“Whoever know you knows what kind of professional you are,” Erik Lamela posted in a comment below Kane’s statement on Instagram.
“Keep your mind as always, my friend,” he added.
Joe Hart, meanwhile, wrote: “Top pro above all H.”
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