Nuno Espírito Santo has suggested he will factor in the turmoil that Harry Kane is experiencing before deciding whether to name him on Sunday in the squad to face Manchester City – the club that the Tottenham striker is desperate to join.
Kane trained with his Spurs teammates on Friday for the first time in pre-season after a later-than-expected return from a holiday in the Bahamas and Florida (at least from the club’s point of view) and a requirement to quarantine for five days.
The England captain has made himself available for selection but there have to be questions over his fitness and psychological readiness to play against the team that are preparing a £127m offer for him. The Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, is not inclined to sell for less than £150m.
Nuno said he would decide whether to include Kane – most likely among his nine substitutes – after training on Saturday and it would come down to more than the player’s physical levels.
“All the decisions are not only based on fitness,” the manager said. “It’s based on many, many aspects that we have to consider. Football players are not only professionals, they are people that deal with many situations. All of us, we have our own lives. When we make decisions, I try to get as much info as I can so my decision is the best for the team.”
Son Heung-min is expected to start up front, as he did in pre-season, and the midfielder Oliver Skipp is also set to be included in the XI. Nuno has doubts over the new signings Cristian Romero and Bryan Gil, both of whom began to train with the team only this week – the latter after his participation with Spain at the Olympics. Romero’s arrival was confirmed on Friday of last week and he had not fully recovered from an injury sustained with Argentina in the Copa América final.
Tanguy Ndombele is still not ready, with Nuno saying that “like many players in our squad, it is not easy to adapt to a new idea, a new philosophy, but we keep on insisting and believing that this is the right way – the right moment will come when we believe it should be”.
Nuno was asked whether he saw Son playing as a central striker this season. “Yes I do,” he replied. “That’s why we decide to play Sonny with Lucas [Moura] and Stevie [Bergwijn] in wide areas [in pre-season]. Son has energy, adaptability and is versatile enough to play in different positions in the front three – one of those in the central areas.”