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Why Harry Kane’s New Tottenham Deal Doesn’t Mean He’s Staying Put In London

For Tottenham fans, Friday’s news must have come as a relief. Their savior Harry Kane, who scored more goals in 2017 than anyone else in Europe, signed a six-year contract with Spurs. But the new Harry Kane deal might not keep the England striker in North London for long if you consider Tottenham’s last megastar.

Tottenham is in a unique position in English football. The club doesn’t have the resources of a Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City, and yet the team has finished in the top three for three years running.

Much of Tottenham’s success can be attributed to manager Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs locked him down to a five-year deal in May. The club’s next course of business was to lock down Kane, which they did on Friday.

Tottenham’s last Harry Kane deal was signed at the end of 2016. In 2017, Kane scored 56 goals for club and country, more than anyone else in Europe. So it makes sense why Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy made it a priority to lengthen Kane’s contract by two years to 2024. 

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But there’s more at play than just reaffirming Kane’s commitment, giving him a raise and reassuring fans he’ll stick around — and it could see Kane jump ship in a year’s time. 

Daniel Levy is a shrewd businessman. He rarely gets the raw end of any deal — it’s part of the reason Tottenham has been so successful without the massive financial backing other top English clubs boast. Levy knows he might not be able to keep Kane in North London forever, and that’s why it was important for him to nail down this deal regardless of price. (While exact specifics of the deal have not been released, some reports suggest it will be twice the $134,000 per week Kane was making on his last contract.)

What this longer, more expensive Harry Kane deal does is create a higher market value for Tottenham’s most valuable commodity. So when Real Madrid or someone else comes asking about his services, Levy can point to the value of the contract and keep raising the price tag for any suitors. 

Just look at how Tottenham dealt with its last megastar: Gareth Bale. 

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After the 2011-12 season, when Bale first began to show signs he was more than just a speedy left back, Tottenham signed him to a four-year deal. After his stellar 2012-13 campaign, in which he scored 26 goals and was named player of the year, Spurs sold him to Real Madrid for what was then a world-record $118.7 million price tag. 

Bale’s four-year deal didn’t mean anything at that point other than an additional bargaining chip for Tottenham. And that’s just what Friday’s Harry Kane deal is — a bargaining chip. Kane is 24 right now, the same age Bale was when he left for Real Madrid. He’ll never be more valuable for Tottenham. 

That said, it’s likely Kane sticks around for at least one more year; Spurs won’t want to sell their best player right before opening a new stadium. But if the price is right, anything can happen. 

The Harry Kane deal doesn’t mean he’ll for sure stick around for six more years. Sure, he might decide he prefers life in London to trying to make it abroad, but signing a new contract doesn’t mean anything for the long-term future of one of England’s brightest stars. But it does mean Tottenham will be fine either way.

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