Tuchel: I expected Kane to make City switch

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed he expected Harry Kane to join Manchester City this summer but insisted he is happy the striker remained at Tottenham Hotspur.

Kane attempted to force through a move away from Spurs after becoming frustrated at a lack of silverware, but chairman Daniel Levy was reluctant to sell and no club proved willing to test his resolve over his £150 million valuation of the striker.

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City were always the front-runners for the 28-year-old’s signature but a deal failed to materalise, leaving Tuchel to reflect on the summer’s most high-profile transfer saga as Kane prepares to lead Spurs’ attack when they face Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

“I thought that this was going to happen,” Tuchel said of Kane’s proposed move to City at a news conference on Friday.

“I was not scared — if it would have happened, I would have been very interested how it would have maybe also changed the Man City style of playing.

“We are not afraid of nobody. We accept any team — Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool — they are the teams strong like no others in this league. They have strong, strong squads. These other guys with whom you want to compete, it is normal they fight for the best players.

“I thought this was going to happen. On the other side, I was happy he stayed because it is also nice it exists in football that people play for one club only in a league. Harry Kane is Tottenham and even for me — I have absolutely nothing to do with Tottenham obviously, I never worked for them — but if you think about Tottenham in the last decade, you think about Harry Kane. This is very, very nice.

“Like you think about [Lionel] Messi you think straight away about Barcelona and that is very hard to think that he plays for another club now. That is the same with Harry Kane.

“So from this side, I was happy because I like it and a part of my personality is still a fan and I like that things like this still happen. It is also nice that Romelu [Lukaku] is back at Chelsea. Some things are a good fit and should not be changed.”

Although City were favourites to land Kane, both Chelsea and Manchester United were also keeping tabs on the situation.

Chelsea were determined to sign a top centre forward this summer and once it became clear Borussia Dortmund would not part with Erling Haaland, they turned to other targets.

Tuchel confirmed the club were made aware of Kane’s desire to find a new club but admitted they never entered negotiations with Spurs, not least because the fierce rivalry between the two London clubs would have complicated any agreement.

“I never had a list with his name on it and I never went to [director] Marina [Granovskaia] to tell her to buy him,” Tuchel added. “But I think the club sorted out the situations.

“There are many people around players and their agents, their advisors and people in between. We had some information from these people but it was never that close that we had to experience the rivalry. We know about the rivalry but I had the feeling it was never that far.”