Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on a potential move for Harry Kane ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League opener at Tottenham on Sunday.
Guardiola last week confirmed City would be “very interested” in signing the “exceptional, extraordinary” Kane.
The England captain disputed suggestions he did not report for pre-season training last week, but has now reported for duty and Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo on Friday revealed he has had talks with the prolific striker.
Nuno stated that a decision had not yet been made over whether Kane will face City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Guardiola was not interested in discussing a move for Kane when he faced the media two days before the champions take on Spurs in the capital.
The City manager said: “I answered this last time. He’s a player for Tottenham. I made an exception last time – usually I don’t talk about transfers because it is not my business. That’s all.”
Guardiola also dismissed talk of going through a second successive season without a recognised number nine.
He said: “I would say we play with recognised strikers. Sergio (Aguero) was injured (last season) and played a few games. Always when Sergio was fit he was an important part of the team.
“He was incredibly recognised by me. He was a proper striker and Gabriel (Jesus) is a proper striker.”
Asked about the talks he held with Kane, Nuno said: “Harry joined the group today. He trained, we talked. Of course, it’s a private conversation.
“Everything is okay. He’s preparing himself, like Bryan [Gil], like [Cristian] Romero, players who joined us later. We have to be careful but everything’s okay. We still have the session (Saturday) to decide.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tottenham – Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min has only scored more goals in all competitions against Southampton (11) than he has against City (six). The Korean has scored in all three of his appearances against the Citizens at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Manchester City – Jack Grealish
City smashed the British transfer record to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, though of course they could break it again should they acquire Kane. Grealish made his debut as a substitute in the Community Shield defeat to Leicester City, and is almost certain to make his league bow for City on Sunday.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·City have lost their last three away games against Tottenham in all competitions – against no side has manager Pep Guardiola lost four away games in a row in his managerial career. Indeed, Guardiola’s four away defeats to Tottenham is the joint-most he’s suffered as a manager (level with Chelsea and Liverpool).
·Each of the last four managers to take charge of Spurs have won their first Premier League game in charge, with Andre Villas-Boas the last to lose in August 2012. There have been 20 different previous occasions of a manager’s first Premier League game in charge of a club coming against the reigning champions, with just one winning (Mike Phelan vs Leicester in 2016-17).
·Champions City lost two of their last four league games in the 2020-21 season, conceding eight goals in the process (2 per game). The Citizens had lost just two of their previous 26 in the Premier League before this (W22 D2), conceding just 13 goals in that run (0.5 per game).
·Among managers to take charge of at least four matches on MD1 in Premier League history, Guardiola is the only manager to win all such games, winning five out of five while seeing City score 14 goals across those games.
·Spurs lost 1-0 against Everton in their opening league match last season, last losing such matches in consecutive seasons in 2011-12 (0-3 vs Manchester United) and 2012-13 (1-2 vs Newcastle United).