Ornstein: Kane open to new Spurs deal; Man Utd exit, Fresneda, Matviyenko futures

In a season of mixed fortunes at Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps the only consistent phenomenon has been Harry Kane finding the net as he chases the club’s all-time goalscoring record.

Defeats to Arsenal and Manchester City left Spurs struggling to finish in the top four, but Kane approached Monday’s game at Fulham with 265 goals, just shy of Jimmy Greaves’ 1970 tally.

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There is no doubting the striker’s place in their history, but with recent reports linking him with a move to Manchester United this summer, fresh questions have been raised about what the future holds.

Kane has entered the final 18 months of his contract and there have been no talks over new terms since August 2021, when a potential move to Manchester City fell through.

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After that, the 29-year-old England captain continued to lead his side’s line impressively and find the target on a consistent basis to further exacerbate his situation.

Kane’s involvement in the World Cup and Spurs’ focus on the January transfer window have limited the two sides’ ability to negotiate. But talks are planned after the close of the winter window and he is open to signing a new deal if the situation is right.

Kane is open to extending his stay at Spurs (Image: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

How Tottenham’s campaign ends – they stay in the Champions League and FA Cup – as well as their recruitment and success prospects are key factors. While the offer for Kane made obvious sense, Spurs’ plans and ambitions were at the center of his thinking.

Kane’s desire to win trophies at Tottenham is well-documented and he is said to be focusing on that in the coming months rather than leaving. While all representatives have spoken to potential suitors for their players, Kane has not held serious discussions about an exit.

If a deal isn’t reached soon, Tottenham will have to decide whether to sell Kane or hand their prized asset into his final year, knowing he could leave for free in 2024.

The forward’s stance on extending his career in north London has been welcomed by the Spurs hierarchy and fans, particularly amid uncertainty surrounding the status of manager Antonio Conte. The Italian’s contract expires in June, but there is an option to extend.

Tom Keane has left Manchester United

Tom Keane, who helped Manchester United’s summer business as head of football negotiations, was expected to return to the club on a permanent basis but has instead returned to law firm Brandsmiths.

Keane replaced Matt Judge last June and signed Casemiro and Anthony in the summer, flying to Spain with director of football John Murtaugh to agree terms with the Real Madrid midfielder.

His 11-week placement ended when the window closed, but he was deemed suitable and talks were held to make him a full-time role.

Casemiro, Manchester United

Keane worked on the Casemiro deal (Image: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

However, uncertainty over United’s ownership has changed plans, while the Glazer family have gone through a sale process that could see major changes at Old Trafford, with some appointments being put on hold. The club are still looking to fill that role between now and the summer window.

Keane was not involved in United’s case in January, with agents calling him about potential targets referring to Murtaugh, his deputy Andy O’Boyle and head of recruitment operations Steve Brown. His departure also shows that United never expected to do much business in the winter window, as they prefer summer windows and have the ability to sell, which limits their spending.

It was the Murtough legal team and other recruiters who completed the credit moves for Vout Weghorst and Jack Butland. Keane returned to Brandsmith, where he specialized in the legal side of sports contracts.

Chelsea are very close to signing up for the US tournament

Premier League teams have had a long history of spending pre-season in the US, but as revealed The Athletic last year, those games will have an extra edge this coming summer.

More than just one-off games, several clubs will take part in the tournament and organizers now believe they have their first Big Six team on board.

American-owned Chelsea could be involved, a major opening with other top teams opting for better options for the summer.

Arsenal fans show their support during the Florida Cup match against Chelsea (Image: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Exact plans, times and locations for the competition are still being finalized – confirmed teams – but it is believed to be coming together soon. Tottenham, who toured South Korea last summer, are also considering joining the competition.

Chelsea spent last season in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando and Charlotte. Arsenal, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were among those who toured the US ahead of this season, with some games drawing more than 60,000 fans. British clubs see the US market as key as they look to expand their fan base and capitalize on the international appeal of the Premier League.

Fresneda to choose between Arsenal and Dortmund

Real Valladolid’s in-demand right-back Ivan Fresneda, 18, will make a decision on his next club on Monday, according to Guillermo Rai.

Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have both agreed terms for the €15m ($16.2m; £13.1m) player, who will loan Fresneda to the Spanish side for the rest of this season.

A defender who relies heavily on his technical qualities, Fresneda excels in ball control and attacking skills, while rarely showing weakness in defensive assignments. A number of other clubs have been chasing the Spain under-19 international, including Newcastle, who have already dropped out of the race.

Brighton target Matvienko in London

Brighton & Hove Albion under Roberto de Zerbi maintained their excellent run of form with a draw at Leicester City on Saturday to move up to sixth in the table.

It would put them firmly in contention for European qualification, which would be an excellent achievement for a club who were promoted to the Premier League in 2017 and not only sold some of their best players, but also lost Graham Potter and his staff in September.

Brighton’s rise has shown no signs of slowing down and De Zerbi hopes the January transfer market will be used to keep his side on a positive trajectory.

As reported in October, as soon as De Zerby arrived at the Amex Stadium, he targeted Shakhtar Donetsk left-back central defender Mykola Matvienko as a winter signing.

Although Brighton were aware of the Ukraine international, he was not identified through their widely known scouting system and instead it was a candidate being sought after by De Zerby.

Matvienko in goal for Brighton (Photo: David S. Bustamante/Socrates/Getty Images)

Brighton have since inquired about the 26-year-old and although they are unwilling to pay the €25m Shakhtar are seeking, De Zerby is pushing his club to complete a deal.

Currently, Matviyenko is in London with his family, and the Shakhtar team is on vacation for a few days.

The visit is not specifically linked to a potential transfer, but discussions are expected to continue about reuniting with De Zerby in England.

The pair, who worked together at Shakhtar and De Zerbi, are keen to strengthen Matvienko’s position, a desire that has intensified following Levi Colville’s quadriceps injury.

Colville joined Brighton on loan from Chelsea and has become a regular starter, but his absence and an expected return to Stamford Bridge in the summer mean reinforcements are being considered and Matvienko De Zerbi is the preferred candidate.

Newcastle like McTominay but will not sign him in January

Newcastle United have held talks over a January move for Scott McTominay, but any transfer will have to wait until the summer, with Manchester United unwilling to sell in this window, writes Laurie Whitwell.

Eddie Howe was looking for a new midfielder and he was impressed by McTominay’s athleticism and ability to carry the ball.

United were aware of Newcastle’s interest last summer and McTominay was again considered at St James’ Park this winter given the 26-year-old’s status behind Casemiro in Erik ten Hag’s squad.

McTominay would be a key midfielder for Howe, while UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules at Old Trafford require players to be sold to increase Ten Hague’s spending power.

Sources claim there will be no sale in the closing days of the window as time to reinvest is limited and Ten Hague sees McTominay as a valuable member of his squad.

But given Newcastle’s enduring appreciation of McTominay and United’s financial situation, the situation will be revisited in the summer.


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