England’s victory in the European Under-21 Championship captured the nation as prominent figures took to social media to offer their congratulations.

Curtis Jones’ first-half goal, coupled with goalkeeper James Trafford’s stoppage-time penalty save, ensured the Young Lions lifted the trophy for the first time in 39 years as they edged out Spain 1-0.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the tributes as the likes of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and senior men’s captain Harry Kane joined in the celebrations.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham was among the first to applaud the Young Lions, with other governing bodies quick to followPolitical figures were also caught up in the excitementEngland stars past and present were delighted with the winWith 18 Premier League players in Young Lions squad, the tributes from clubs poured inAnd former boxer Frank Bruno loved the sound of ‘European Champions’

Mauricio Pochettino would not be drawn on whether he would push for Chelsea to reunite him with England captain Harry Kane as he was formally unveiled as manager at Stamford Bridge.

The pair enjoyed success during their days together at Tottenham, reaching the Champions League final in 2019, and the Argentinian was pressed on whether he would look to Kane to try and revive his new side’s ailing attack.

Chelsea scored only 38 league goals last season, their worst return in almost a hundred years, as they finished a dismal 12th in the Premier League.

They have already added RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal, and the manager said the club are still looking to do more business to improve their front line.

But he stopped short of saying he would ask the club to bid for Kane, who scored 30 times in the league last season and, with Spurs not qualifying for Europe, has been the subject of interest from Bayern Munich.

“You are talking about one of the greatest strikers in the world,” said Pochettino. “I think it’s too unfair to talk (about a player at another club). The most important thing is that fans are not stupid. They are so clever. They know my relationship with him was always amazing.

“I saw him when he was young and grow up and achieve all that he was achieving. We have a great relationship.

“At the moment, we are thinking (in the transfer market) in a different way. We are not thinking that. We’re working hard to try to provide the squad with good quality.

“We are working on that and still we have time to work. For sure we are going to add players that can score and we are going to find the best way to play.”

The club have begun a significant overhaul of their squad since the transfer window re-opened, with players leaving to slim down the squad and trim the wage bill.

Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante have led an exodus of nine first-team players to depart so far, but the club remain in the market for recruits as they look to address last season’s crisis of form in front of goal.

“Football is really dynamic,” said Pochettino. “What we have today maybe tomorrow disappears. We need to be ready if we need more or not or maybe we go through the pre-season and we realise we need to improve in different positions or add more players that can score.

“It’s really dynamic and we’re going to assess every single day the situation.”

The manager added that Chelsea’s owners will need to check in with him before paying visits to the Stamford Bridge dressing room as he was formally unveiled as the club’s new manager.

Co-controlling owner Todd Boehly frequently entered the dressing room under successive head coaches last season, telling the players after a defeat to Brighton in April that their season had been “embarrassing.”

Pochettino began work at Cobham on Monday just over a month after he was confirmed as permanent successor to Graham Potter, who Boehly sacked just seven months after appointing him.

The Argentinian is tasked with resurrecting the club after they suffered their worst season in 29 years last campaign, finishing 12th and failing to mount a credible challenge for silverware despite the owner’s Clearlake Capital consortium forking out over £600million on transfers.

Pochettino said he felt it was his responsibility to create the kind of culture where people clearly understand their place and function in the wider collective.

“We need to understand that they own the football club,” he said when asked whether the hierarchy would be welcome on his watch to address the players post-match.

“We need to respect that. The thing is to talk about how we need to behave because that is an important thing.

“The culture of football in England is a lot to understand. My responsibility also is to help and to add our knowledge and capacity to create this culture where everyone knows how to behave in different situations.

“For me, more than welcome if the owner comes to the dressing room, to the training ground. But always they need to communicate with myself, I need to know, and to prepare the people to receive.

“In here (the dressing room) it’s really special in England. Maybe in another country it’s different, but here it’s this way.

“The manager has some influence in all football clubs, for the fans, for the players, for the staff and the media. Altogether we need to create this. We are there to guide all the people that are involved in this football club, to try to create the best atmosphere and try to work and perform in the best way.

“I am more than happy if they are close to us. But they are the owners. The players, the fans, the media – the coach is who decides how things are going to work in the dressing room, on the pitch, on the training ground.  Also with the sporting directors, we create the line to follow.”

Former captain John Terry tweeted on Friday that he has re-joined the club working with the academy.

The 42-year-old won five Premier League titles with Chelsea as well as the 2012 Champions League.

What the papers say

The race for England captain Harry Kane is hotting up, with Tottenham making the 29-year-old an offer which would improve his £200,000 a week salary, according to the Guardian. But the Daily Mail reports that Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has visited the striker at his home in his quest to sign him.

Arsenal are close to taking their summer spending to around £200million, with Dutch defender Jurrien Timber, 22, following Declan Rice in agreeing a deal, according to the Daily Telegraph. The Standard says the Gunners will pay Ajax £38.5m for Timber.

Leicester midfielder Harvey Barnes, 25, is attracting plenty of interest, with the Guardian suggesting Newcastle lead the way. Aston Villa and Tottenham are also in the race.

AC Milan are continuing their pursuit of Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic. The Daily Mail reports the Italian club have made an improved £18.9m offer for the American.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Levi Colwill: Liverpool are said to be keen on the 20-year-old defender, although Chelsea want to keep him.

Lewis O’Brien: Wayne Rooney wants to keep the midfielder, who is on loan at DC United from Nottingham Forest, with Sheffield United also interested, according to the Daily Mirror.

Yaya Toure has told Harry Kane to stay at Tottenham for the rest of his career.

The England captain’s future has come under constant scrutiny this summer and Kane has regularly been linked with a move to Manchester United or Bayern Munich.

Spurs are insistent they will not sell their star player, despite him entering the last year of his contract, and Toure thinks Kane should end his career at his boyhood club.

Toure has had the chance to witness Kane at close quarters during his spell on the academy’s coaching staff and recognises his star quality.

“Harry Kane is a brilliant player and a brilliant leader,” the 40-year-old, who has just taken a coaching job at Standard Liege, told the PA news agency.

“For me I hope he is going to stay at Tottenham. What he did last season was incredible.

“I hope he is going to stay, being involved with the staff I can see how familiar they are, they all believe in each other.

 

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“He came from the academy, he is different. He is not like (Sergio) Aguero, who came in from Atletico, he is at home.

“I hope he is going to stay because he is a good player. Why not retire there, like (Paolo) Maldini or Gerrard did at Liverpool, if he does that it is going to be very significant.”

Spurs’ inability to win a trophy over the last 15 years has been the main reason why Kane has been linked with a move away.

But Toure believes the club is set up for success and Kane is integral to that.

“Tottenham have everything to be successful, when you see the stadium and facilities, they are brilliant,” he added.

“What’s left now? Maybe change players, I don’t know.

“But the competitiveness of the league, you have to match that. “What Manchester City are doing, you have to match that if you want to win.

“That is what I learned when I was at top clubs, week in week out, try to improve the club to be successful.

“I hope and believe that if Harry Kane stays, new players will join, the club will be improving and better and they will be able to challenge for something.”

Before Toure heads to Belgium to begin at Standard Liege, he will first put his coaching skills to use on the launch of Amazon’s Prime Day, as a Prime customer can buy a private coaching session for them and three friends.

He said: “I couldn’t stay away from coaching in the UK for long, but this is a fun one.

“Amazon approached me because like them, I’m known for reliable delivery, so for Prime Day I’m going to be working with a group of football fans to give them a training session and show them a thing or two.

“With the new season coming up, I’ll look to put them through their paces with knowledge I’ve gained through my years at clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester City.

“It’ll be one last training session in England for a while.”

::Yaya Touré will give one lucky Prime customer and their three friends a football training session to learn perfect delivery this Prime Day. Prime Members should check out www.amazon.co.uk/primeexperiences throughout 11th and 12th July to purchase.

The summer transfer market remains busy with plenty of deals and speculation.

Here, the PA news agency rounds up some of the latest business and stories.

Top story

Arsenal’s pursuit of West Ham captain Declan Rice continues to command the most headlines. After having two bids rebuffed for the England midfielder, the Gunners’ third offer of £100million plus £5m in add-ons was reportedly accepted on Wednesday.

Manchester City had been interested but, after having a £90m bid rejected, decided not to match Arsenal’s proposition.

Done deals

Tottenham completed the signing of James Maddison from Leicester for an initial £40m on Wednesday. The 26-year-old England international has signed a five-year deal and becomes new manager Ange Postecoglou’s third new recruit.

Kai Havertz has crossed London to join Arsenal from Chelsea in a £65m deal and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has also left Stamford Bridge to sign for Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli.

Deals closing in

Arsenal are shaping up to be one of the biggest movers in the summer window as they also close on the signing of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber.

Chelsea are also reportedly in “advanced talks” over Santos winger Angelo Gabriel.

Other gossip

Chelsea’s interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo has now apparently been matched by Manchester United. This adds a layer of intrigue to United’s pursuit of Chelsea’s Mason Mount.

Caicedo has emerged as a potential United target after they were knocked back by the Blues over Mount, so it will be interesting to see if this changes the picture.

Meanwhile, Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga, who has a £34m buyout clause, is being looked at by Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Fulham and Nottingham Forest are potential destinations for another Chelsea player, Callum Hudson-Odoi. Liverpool are also being linked with RB Leipzig midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai and the German side’s centre-back Josko Gvardiol is another potential target for champions City.

Unlikely move

The future of Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane remains the subject of considerable speculation as Bayern Munich apparently prepare a second bid, but the prospect of this move happening still seems remote.

Bayern’s first offer of £60m was rejected out of hand and the feeling is the Germans would have to up it considerably just to get Spurs to the table. Even then, there has been no indication that Kane would be interested in such a switch.

No move

It was inevitable there would be some interest in Jamie Vardy following Leicester’s relegation but the 36-year-old apparently has no interest in joining Saudi Arabian side Khaleej FC.

What the papers say

Manchester United have reportedly made a last-ditch attempt to sign England captain Harry Kane. According to The Sun, the Red Devils have reached out to the Tottenham striker to encourage him to put in a transfer request as club bosses grow increasingly frustrated with Spurs’ unwillingness to negotiate over Kane’s position.

Staying at Old Trafford, The Telegraph reports the club have joined Arsenal in pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice. United are said to be interested in a player-plus-cash deal involving England defender Harry Maguire or Scotland midfielder Scott McTominay.

West Brom defender Dara O’Shea could be set for a return to the Premier League next season. The Irish Independent reports the 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international has all-but confirmed a move to Burnley, with a medical at Turf Moor on Thursday the last hurdle to clear.

And the Evening Standard claims Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech is nearing a move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Sandro Tonali: The Athletic says Newcastle are circling a £60million deal for the AC Milan midfielder.

Bernardo Silva: The Manchester City midfielder is nearing a move to Saudi Arabia, according to Spanish outlet Marca.

What the papers say

Manchester United have ended their interest in signing Harry Kane from Tottenham, The Guardian reports. The Spurs’ asking price for the 29-year-old was unrealistic, the Red Devils felt, despite Erik ten Hag making the England striker his primary summer target.

Also in the Guardian is talk that Arsenal have emerged as strong contenders to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea. The 24-year-old has also been identified as a target for Real Madrid. The forward’s contract expires in 2025 but he has told the club of his desire to leave this summer.

Newcastle United are pushing hard to complete a deal to sign Inter Milan’s midfielder Nicolo Barella in a deal thought to be worth around £50 million, the Daily Telegraph says. The 26-year-old and Leicester City’s James Maddison are the Magpies’ two main targets.

And the Mail writes that Manchester City will resist loan offers for midfielder James McAtee as Pep Guardiola wants him to be part of his treble-winning squad next season. The 20-year-old has been earmarked for the club’s senior side.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Dusan Vlahovic: Gazzetta dello Sport reports via Football Italia that Juventus want at least 80m euros (£68m) for the 23-year-old but Chelsea have told the Italians they can pick between five players in a swap deal for the Serbia striker.

Kalidou Koulibaly: Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport says the 31-year-old Chelsea defender is also wanted by Inter Milan.

What the papers say

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, 30, has emerged as a target for Tottenham, according to The Daily Telegraph. The London club are hoping the signing could help persuade his England colleague Harry Kane to stay at the club as big-name clubs line up for his signature.

Maguire is one of eight players United are looking to move on this summer, reports the Daily Mirror. Striker Anthony Martial, 27, Scott McTominay, 26, fellow midfielder Fred, 30, and goalkeeper Dean Henderson, 26, are also on the list, along with defenders Eric Bailly, 29, Alex Telles, 30, and Brandon Williams, 22.

Brighton want more than £70 million for Manchester United target Moises Caicedo, says The Daily Telegraph. Chelsea and Arsenal are also chasing the 21-year-old Ecuador midfielder.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, 32, is wanted by two clubs in Saudi Arabia, according to The Guardian. Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr are keen on the France star with annual salary offers which could reach £86.2 million.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Levi Colwill: The Daily Mail reports Brighton are considering an increased bid of around £40 million for the Chelsea defender, who spent last season on loan at The Seagulls.

Gabri Veiga: Chelsea have joined Liverpool and Barcelona in tracking the Celta Vigo midfielder, 21, who has a £34.4 million release clause, says The Guardian.

Real Madrid are in the market for a new centre-forward after announcing Karim Benzema’s departure.

The France international scored 354 goals in 648 appearances to become Real’s second all-time top scorer, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, during a 14-year stay in the Spanish capital.

Here, the PA news agency runs the rule over the main contenders to succeed Benzema at the Bernabeu.

Harry Kane

England captain Kane would appear to be a natural fit for Real given his unceasing ability to score goals for Tottenham.

Kane, who has one year left on his Spurs contract, turns 30 next month, but that is unlikely to put Real off a striker who is the Premier League’s second highest goalscorer and will be strongly coveted by Manchester United and others this summer.

Real have tempted Gareth Bale and Luka Modric away from Tottenham in the past and might be hopeful of striking a deal, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy unwilling to sell Kane to a Premier League rival in the past.

Kylian Mbappe

The World Cup winner was seemingly on his way to Madrid last summer before choosing to stay at Paris St Germain and chase Champions League glory there.

Like Kane, Mbappe comes with a goals guarantee as he has scored more than 200 for PSG, but the Frenchman has more time on his side than the England forward as he does not celebrate his 25th birthday until December.

Mbappe is a thrilling spectacle in full flight and releasing him from his eye-watering PSG contract, which runs until June 2025, might take a world record transfer fee.

Victor Osimhen

Napoli’s first Serie A title for 33 years was fuelled by the goals of Osimhen.

The 24-year-old Nigeria star scored 26 goals in 32 games, with the 6ft 1in striker’s game based around pace, power and athleticism.

Osimhen has two years remaining on his current Napoli deal and has also attracted interest from Manchester United, with Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag known to be a big admirer.

Kai Havertz

On the face of it, Germany international Havertz would appear to be a strange replacement for goal machine Benzema.

It would not be a like-for-like signing as the 23-year-old Havertz, in a false nine role, struggled to provide the goals Chelsea needed last season.

But his tactical intelligence could enable him to dovetail well with Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior and Real could get a reduction on the £76million Chelsea paid Bayer Leverkusen for Havertz in 2020.

Jonathan David

Canada striker David has a growing reputation for club and country and seems ready to step on to a bigger stage after spells in Belgium and France.

The 23-year-old has scored over 50 Ligue 1 goals for Lille since joining from Gent in 2020, 24 of them coming this season.

David is known for his pace and versatility, as well his pressing ability out of possession, and can also operate as a second striker.

What the papers say

Tottenham will try to resist offers from Manchester United for striker Harry Kane. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reportedly declared he is against letting Kane go to a Premier League rival, according to the Mirror.

Bayern Munich are looking to challenge Arsenal for the signature of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, with the German club reportedly prepared to pay £95million for the England international’s services, the Mirror said.

To accommodate the gap left by Rice, the Sun reports West Ham are favourites to sign Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse for around £40million.

The Telegraph said Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is confident he can sway Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount to join the club.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

James Maddison: The Leicester midfielder has attracted interest from Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle after his club were relegated, the Mirror says his signing fee will be around £40million.

Martin Odegaard: The Arsenal midfielder is being scoped by Paris St Germain.

Leeds’ three-season stay in the Premier League is over after a 4-1 home defeat to Tottenham confirmed their relegation.

Harry Kane and Pedro Porro scored early in either half to put Spurs 2-0 up and, although Jack Harrison reduced the deficit, Kane struck a game-clinching second in what could be his last game for the London club.

Tottenham substitute Lucas Moura rubbed salt into Leeds’ wounds by waltzing through a porous defence in stoppage time to complete their misery.

Leeds went into the final day needing not only victory, but for relegation rivals Everton and Leicester to drop points and, since they both won, the Yorkshire club’s 21st league defeat of the season was immaterial.

The hosts have not kept a clean sheet since February and their hopes of doing so on Sunday went up in smoke in just the second minute.

The ease with which Porro and Son Heung-min combined to carve open the defence typified Leeds’ season, with Kane finding space among headless chickens to hit the first nail into the home side’s coffin.

Leeds fans responded to Kane’s 28th league goal of the season with raucous defiance, ‘We’re going down’ being one of their chants.

Leeds’ players rallied and did their best to give something back to the Elland Road faithful, but in terms of confidence and quality they have long been running on empty.

Robin Koch spurned their best chance, heading wayward from in front of goal from Rodrigo’s brilliant cross before Pascal Struijk’s shot was deflected for a corner.

Adam Forshaw’s fierce drive was blocked by Davinson Sanchez and another Koch header curled the wrong side of a post.

Leeds boss Sam Allardyce cut a forlorn figure in the dugout and saw his side waste further first-half chances as Rodrigo headed Forshaw’s cross off target and Rasmus Kristensen volleyed over.

Tottenham continually threatened on the break without creating any more first-half scoring chances, but they soon remedied that.

Just as they had done in the first half, Leeds conceded inside the opening two minutes of the second as Kane brilliantly set up Porro, who arrowed a low shot into the far corner from a narrow angle to put the visitors 2-0 up.

Leeds gamely searched for a goal of their own and were rewarded when Harrison made space on the edge of the area to drill a low shot into the far corner.

But within two minutes Tottenham restored their two-goal advantage. Sanchez’s simple long clearance caught Leeds’ defence all at sea and Kane curled a neat finish inside the far post.

As Leeds fans vented their fury at their club’s plight in the closing stages, Moura – on his last appearance for the north London club – completed the scoring after a mazy run from halfway before chants of ‘Sack the board’ rang out through the home terraces.

Willian believes success in football does not necessarily equate to a cabinet full of silverware, highlighting Harry Kane as an example.

The Fulham attacker was a two-time Premier League winner during his time with Chelsea, and collected medals in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League.

In addition, the 34-year-old won the 2019 Copa America with Brazil and was a member of his nation's squad when they came fourth at home in the 2014 World Cup.

But when asked what defines success in football, he suggested that trophies do not solely define the legacy of a player's career.

"I think it's a mix of several factors," he told Stats Perform. "It is to win titles, [it] is to be playing at a high level.

"Sometimes there are players who don't win titles, but play at a high level and are always playing well, always scoring goals. Harry Kane, for example, for me, is a great player

"[He] is always at a high level at Tottenham, playing very well and scoring goals, but I don't think he has any career titles as a professional. Can you say that he was not successful in football?

"It depends. It is a mixture of things. It depends a lot on what it means to be successful in football. For me, the most important thing is for the player to be playing well, and the title becomes a consequence of the work."

Despite his success, Willian acknowledged there are two major honours that have eluded him, at club and international level, but he adds their absence from his collection does not detract from his other successes.

"One is the Champions League and the other is the World Cup," he noted. "Every player has that dream.

"Those are the two titles I'd really like to win, but if I don't win them, I'm satisfied with my career and the titles I've already won."

Willian has spent nine seasons in the Premier League, more than he has in any domestic top-flight competition, and he maintains it remains the strongest he has played in.

"The Premier League is the best league in the world," he added. "You'll never have an easy match.

"It might get easier during the game, and you might beat the other team, but you're never going to go into the match thinking it's going to be easy, thinking you're going to win 4-0.

"It is a very difficult league. The last one can take points from the first one, and it is very competitive and that is why it becomes the best in the world."

What the papers say

Real Madrid have reportedly been given an opportunity to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane. The Daily Mail, citing Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, says the Spanish giants have been offered the chance to pick up the 29-year-old in a player-plus-cash deal. Kane’s contract at Tottenham expires next summer and any transfer would give Spurs the chance to cash in before risking him leaving as a free agent.

Staying with Tottenham, The Sun reports the club’s search for a new manager has taken a blow, with Paris St Germain linked with a move for top target Luis Enrique. Citing Marca, the paper says the French powerhouses are likely to sack boss Christophe Galtier and enter the race for the former Spain coach.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says 24-year-old France defender Jules Kounde is set to snub a rumoured approach from Chelsea to stay at Barcelona.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Samuel Umtiti: The Daily Mirror says the Barcelona and France defender, on loan at Italian side Lecce, is eager to find a permanent deal in Italy.

Keylor Navas: Chelsea and Tottenham are among the clubs keeping tabs on the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper, according to Foot Mercato.

Tottenham and England forward Harry Kane reflected on a “special” day after he officially received the Freedom of the City of London on Thursday in a ceremony alongside his family at Guildhall.

One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade.

England captain and record scorer Kane was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in November for his outstanding sporting achievements but was only now able to receive his certificate in a ceremony alongside wife Kate, his three children and other members of his family.

Chris Hayward, the City Corporation’s policy chairman, and deputy policy chairman Keith Bottomley nominated Kane, who has spent the majority of his playing career in the capital with Tottenham where he is their all-time top scorer.

Reflecting on the day at Guildhall, Kane told the PA news agency: “It was great, really unique and really special in its own way.

“Just a great experience. I have all my family with me today and for them to be in that room with me and see me get the certificate has been amazing.

“I am learning more and more about it as we go on. The ceremony dived into a bit of the history and some of the names before me so it is incredible to be a part of.

“I am extremely grateful to London and what it has given me, the opportunities it has given me. I have been lucky to live here my whole life pretty much.

“I have had a couple of short spells away when I was on loan, but other than that I have been here. To represent not just England but London as well is something I am extremely proud of.

“To receive this award has been an amazing honour for me.”

Kane follows in the footsteps of former England cricketer and World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, who officially received the Freedom of the City of London last year.

Meanwhile, every member of the Lionesses’ squad received the Freedom of the City of London following their winning exploits at Euro 2022.

Spurs forward Kane guided England to the final of the European Championships two years ago and won the golden boot at the World Cup in 2018.

Policy chairman Hayward added: “Harry Kane is an outstanding sportsman and role model for young footballers, having achieved so much before the age of 30.

“Born and raised in London and admired by many millions of followers of the beautiful game – not just in this country, but around the world – it was our pleasure to welcome him and his guests to Guildhall.”

Bottomley said: “I was delighted to support the nomination for Harry Kane’s Freedom, which is richly deserved.

“Harry is, in every sense, at the top of his game and his Freedom goes some way towards expressing our admiration for his tremendous skill on the pitch, and our considerable pride in him.”

Harry Kane would not want to risk tarnishing his Tottenham legacy by leaving the club in the summer, according to former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov.

After another turbulent campaign at Tottenham which will end without silverware, England captain Kane has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Manchester United.

Berbatov helped Spurs lift the League Cup in February 2008, which remains the club’s last trophy, before making the switch from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford just over six months later.

Kane is set to enter the final year of his Spurs contract during the summer, but recently spoke of his determination to restore a strong culture at the club, which is now on a third manager of the season.

Berbatov, who went on to win the Premier League twice with United, can empathise with Kane’s dilemma, but believes the 29-year-old’s heart remains very much at Tottenham where he is now the record goalscorer.

“I can understand and can relate to his situation. I feel for him, but at the same time I think he is going to stay at Spurs,” Berbatov told the PA news agency.

“His legacy now is so great that he cannot force himself to tarnish it – when you say Spurs, it is Harry Kane and when you say Harry Kane, it is Spurs.

“They are connected forever because he is the leading goalscorer of the team, of the country (England national team) and probably is going to break Alan Shearer’s record for most goals in the Premier League as well.

“So it is down to him to know what is important for him – (for) his legacy with Spurs, which is unbelievable now.

“(As for) personal records, it is important also to win something before he is finished playing football. It is up to him to decide.”

Former Bulgaria striker Berbatov, speaking on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, added: “At one point, Spurs are probably going to win something and produce more consistency.

“Every season they have that intent, that this is going to be the defining season, but so far, it didn’t work.

“At one point, I am sure it is going to work, but when is that going to be? I don’t know.”

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has also come in for criticism in the wake of a campaign which saw the departures of head coach Antonio Conte and then Cristian Stellini, with Ryan Mason eventually stepping in until the end of the season.

Berbatov believes there has to be a sense of collective responsibility from the training ground to the board room.

“Again they are not at the place that they wanted to be in the start of the season. It is nothing new and everybody connected with Spurs knows it,” said Berbatov, who scored 46 goals over a two-year spell with Tottenham.

“Every season Spurs start with a big expectation based on everything they have in their disposal – a great stadium, the great facility to train, great players as well.

“But while the season is progressing, even if they start strong, then they are declining and that inconsistency kicks in and they start to suffer from it.”

Berbatov added: “It is a shared responsibility – probably 40 per cent the manager, 40 per cent the players and 20 per cent goes to the owners, the people running the club, because it has been a long time since winning a trophy like when I was there.

“At one point Spurs reached the Champions League final and they had a great run with (Mauricio) Pochettino.

“But most of the time that disappointment is there because (after) starting on a strong foot, then slowly and surely they continue to drop down (the table) and don’t achieve what they have wanted to achieve at the end of the season.”

While Tottenham may be well out of the running for a top-four finish, they could yet still qualify for Europe again via one of the other UEFA competitions.

Berbatov, 42, hopes another of his old clubs Bayer Leverkusen can go on to reach this season’s Europa League final – if they can get past Roma, now managed by former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.

“They have another leg, another obstacle in the case of (Jose) Mourinho and his (Roma) team, but I think they can manage to do it,” said Berbatov. “With me being at the final to watch in person, I would like to see them there.”

:: Dimitar Berbatov featured in Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s 2022/23 UEFA Europa League campaign content, Mission Masterclass. You can view episode two in full on UEFA’s official YouTube channel

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