Mauricio Pochettino is concerned that Harry Kane will have to miss the start of next season for Tottenham Hotspur in order that he gets enough rest after playing for Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21s at the European championships next month.
The Under-21s manager will announce a long list of squad players for the tournament on Wednesday at St George’s Park with Kane, Luke Shaw, John Stones and Calum Chambers all included despite the fact they have been capped for the senior England team. Five Under-21s eligible players who are regulars in Roy Hodgson’s senior squad - Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones, Ross Barkley and the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - are not under consideration.
Spurs are worried that Kane will get too little rest this summer with the likelihood that the 21-year-old will also be in Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad for France next summer. Pochettino said after Saturday’s win over Hull City that he was concerned Kane might have to miss the start of next season in order that he got enough time off over the summer.
Asked whether he was happy for Kane to be in the Under-21s squad, Pochettino said: “I am happy if Harry is happy. From then, it is a decision for the FA and we have to wait for that because they have to decide if they are picking him for the Under-21s or if Roy Hodgson is picking him for the senior squad. It’s the FA that decide that. Nobody has asked my advice yet.
“If Harry asks me, I will tell him it is his decision. When you have the possibility to play in the Under-21s, always it is the player’s decision. You can advise him, but in the end it is the FA’s decision and the player.
“The problem is that there are different interests. We are a club, and the FA are interested in England. It is the manager’s decision – in this case Gareth Southgate – how he builds his team and uses his players. Our interest is different to the FA but our understanding is that it is their decision.”
Manchester United: Potential transfer targets summer 2015
Manchester United: Potential transfer targets summer 2015
1/10 Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton, 24)
With Rafael never getting close to favour under Louis van Gaal, right-back has been a problem area all season for United, with Antonio Valencia filling in at the position. Whilst Valencia has done well, Clyne is now England’s first choice and easily in the top three in his position in the Premier League. Southampton will not want to sell another one of their stars, but the player seemingly wants to move.
2/10 Radamel Falcao (Monaco, 29)
Who knows what will happen with the Colombian. Certainly he is not worth anywhere close to the mega move United were considering when they agreed to loan him last summer, having only scored four goals all season. But with his track record as one of the world’s best, United would be foolish not to consider a cut-price move, just in case he’s not broken once and for all.
3/10 Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, 25)
If a deal were to go through it would be an absolutely massive coup for the club, of course, and you know Manchester United will be exploring any possibility of a move. Despite his perceived unhappiness in Spain, Bale’s agent said he will be staying at the Bernabeu next season. Would cost a massive fee but would instantly turn the club into title contenders.
4/10 Edinson Cavani (PSG, 28)
Manchester United will surely be tempted if he is available despite having bigger needs elsewhere in their squad. Despite the perception that he has struggled to fit in at PSG, Cavani still has 50 goals in 91 matches for the club and has played the majority of his time there out of position on the wing. Tall and athletic he seems like a perfect fit for the Premier League, although he will cost a huge fee.
5/10 Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, 28)
The potential transfer of the Spurs and France No 1 is entirely wrapped in the future of David De Gea - if the Spaniard moves to Real Madrid then United will be scrambling for a new goalkeeper and there aren’t many better than Lloris. He’s four years older than De Gea but still young for a keeper.
6/10 Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund, 24)
With Michael Carrick ageing and Wayne Rooney forced to play in the middle at various points this season, central midfield will be one of Van Gaal’s top priorities. The Borussia Dortmund man, 24, is a classy operator, strong on the tackle and a box-to-box threat. He is apparently being chased by Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, among others, so United will have to move quickly.
7/10 Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund, 26)
The World Cup winner should be United’s top target this summer, they have no bigger hole to fill than in the centre of their defence. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are all talented defenders, but none of them have the leadership skills necessary and are a level below the very best. Hummels’ arrival would immediately improve the whole backline.
8/10 Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia, 27)
Like Hummels, Otamendi is the dominant type of centre-back that United are missing. He’s a bit on the short side – 6ft – but is a forceful character and very competent on the ball. Louis van Gaal should be considering a move for both, although that will take out a significant chunk of his transfer budget.
9/10 Kevin Strootman (Roma, 25)
It seems as if Louis van Gaal has been linked with the Roma midfielder for the entirety of his reign, who suffered another knee injury back in January and has only played seven times in all competitions this season, his only games since the original injury last April. If he can get back to full fitness then the Dutchman is a dominant midfielder with an eye for goal. But it’s a big ‘if’.
10/10 Felipe Anderson (Lazio, 22)
The Brazilian attacking midfielder has been linked with a £30m move to Old Trafford despite stating he wanted to stay in Rome. The 22-year-old scored 10 goals and added seven assists for Lazio last season and is seen as a potential star of the future.
Tottenham’s pre-season training will begin on 1 July and the club could well have a Europa League qualifier later that month depending on end-of-season results. The likelihood is that Kane will be given additional time off in order to rest from the summer. He will also go on the club’s post-season tour in Australia and Malaysia, flying back on 1 June.
Asked whether Kane could miss the start of next season, Pochettino said: “Maybe. But I am very sure that the FA will take the right decision for Harry Kane and all England players.
“He is not tired, but the problem is if you play a lot of games in the Premier League and the Europa League over a season, you expend a lot of energy. It is not easy. But it is not about tiredness, it is about next season. We can see him in the future being the future No 1 [choice], not just for us but for the senior England team. I don’t want to speak too much, but it is the FA’s decision.”
Southgate will announce a provisional Under-21s squad on Wednesday with the Uefa deadline for the final 23-man squad falling on 2 June, 16 days before England’s first game. Although Louis Van Gaal said on Friday that Shaw should be exempted from the Under-21s championships that contradicts what the Manchester United manager said in October when he described the tournament as a “good education” for young players and gave the full-back his blessing to go.
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