Manchester City are willing to offer Bernardo Silva in any deal for Harry Kane but are prepared to miss out on the England captain altogether rather than meet Tottenham‘s straight asking price of £150million.
But Raheem Sterling, who is actively considering his future under Pep Guardiola after an unhappy last 12 months at the Etihad, has made it clear he doesn’t want to be a makeweight as Spurs are only in the third-tier Europa Conference League.
The Premier League champions, who have already offered £100m for Kane, would go up to £130m but consider Daniel Levy’s valuation too high.
Manchester City are willing to offer Bernardo Silva to Tottenham in order to sign Harry Kane
Kane was the Premier League’s top goalscorer and assist-maker last term in a stellar campaign
Guardiola says that Silva is looking to leave as he struggles to nail down a place in the side
Kane finally returned to Tottenham’s training ground on Saturday — five days after the club claimed he was due back — with his future still up in the air.
City, who have just splashed out a British transfer record of £100m on Jack Grealish, now believe the only way they can broker a deal with Levy is if the Spurs chairman accepts a lower price — or takes Silva in part-exchange.
Guardiola has made no secret of his admiration for Kane, last season’s Premier League top scorer. On Friday he hailed the Tottenham player as an ‘extraordinary striker’.
City lost Sergio Aguero last summer and failure to sign Kane would leave Jesus as their only senior striker, though Ferran Torres, Kevin De Bruyne, Sterling and Phil Foden can play down the middle.
Sterling, however, has made it clear he doesn’t want to stay at the Etihad if he has to endure another season where he is regularly sidelined by Guardiola.
Portuguese star Silva, according to the City manager, is one of a number of other players who are looking to leave the club, with his opportunities for starts diminishing further following Grealish’s arrival.
Daniel Levy wants £150million for Kane – £20m more than City are willing to bid for the striker
Kane, meanwhile, will complete his five-day quarantine period after returning from his holiday at the Spurs Lodge accommodation block, which is on site, so he can at least train on his own today.
However, he won’t be able to train with team-mates until Friday, when he will complete his quarantine, so he will certainly miss the opening game of the season, coincidentally against City at home next Sunday.
Kane has rejected claims he failed to turn up to training earlier in the week to help secure a move to Manchester City.
He broke his silence on Friday in a social media post claiming that he ‘would never, and have never, refused to train’, adding he would be returning to training as planned.
New Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed on Friday that he had not spoken to Kane about the situation.
Raheem Sterling would want to leave the Etihad if he continues to be in and out of the team
Meanwhile, Guardiola warned that his Manchester City team aren’t ready for the start of the Premier League season after losing 1-0 to Leicester City in yesterday’s Community Shield.
His squad contains so many Brazilian and England internationals, who reached the Copa America and Euro 2020 finals respectively and who will only return to training this weekend, that Guardiola insists it is impossible to be match ready for next Sunday’s season opener.
But he was full of praise for £100m signing Jack Grealish, who managed 25 minutes at Wembley, despite only having had four weeks off since he last played there in England’s Euro final loss to Italy.
Guardiola said: ‘How can we be ready when the players are training three or four sessions?
City’s only recognised striker is Gabriel Jesus following Sergio Aguero’s move to Barcelona
‘Managers used to have four or five weeks together, travelling to a camp, building a relationship. Today it’s over.
‘I would love to have the Brazilian guys and the English players. But they finished the season three weeks ago, so they have to rest.’
Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, are on the verge of completing the extraordinary signing of Lionel Messi, who will bid an emotional farewell to Barcelona today.
PSG will now attempt to convince Kylian Mbappe to stay, so that they can field their Dream Team this season.
Messi, who will earn around £34m net a year, which represents a pay cut from the £60m net annual salary he earned at Barca, is teaming up with his former Barca team-mate and great friend Neymar in Paris — but Mbappe only has one year on his contract and has yet to show any readiness to sign a new deal.