James Maddison wants ‘world’s best number nine’ Harry Kane to stay at Spurs

James Maddison would love Harry Kane to stay at Tottenham but insists the ongoing speculation around the forward has not been a distraction for his new team-mates.

Maddison became one of the first signings of the Ange Postecoglou era at Spurs when he completed a £40million move from Leicester on June 28.

Five weeks on and the elephant in the room remains Kane’s future, with Bayern Munich intent on bringing the England international to Germany and expected to imminently lodge a new bid for the 30-year-old.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reportedly met with Bayern officials in London on Monday and the club’s recent Asia-Pacific tour occurred amid constant talk of Kane’s future, with a BILD journalist able to unveil a Bayern shirt with ‘Kane 9’ on the back to Postecoglou during a media activity.

But Maddison, speaking at the TNT Sports start of season event in London, said: “It hasn’t been a distraction, Harry is super professional.

“I won’t go into details because I don’t know anything and let’s be respectful about Harry’s situation.

“Everyone knows what Harry Kane is like, he’s a super professional guy and whatever club he is at, whenever he goes into training he gives 100 per cent and it’s the same as all the lads so not (a distraction) at all really.

“We were friends before I joined Tottenham from the England squad, we have similar interests and get on well anyway away from football.

“I would love Harry Kane to stay, he’s the best number nine in the world in my opinion, but what will be, will be and Harry is super professional.”

While uncertainty remains over Kane’s future, Tottenham have stepped up their pursuit of new centre-backs for boss Postecoglou.

Talks with Spurs and Wolfsburg are advancing over the transfer of Micky van de Ven, the PA news agency understands.

Postecoglou gave the green light to Van de Ven’s signing soon after arriving in June and dialogue between the teams started last month.

No final agreement over a fee – expected to be in the region of £30m – has been reached, but there is a growing confidence the Netherlands Under-21 international will make the move before Spurs’ Premier League opener at Brentford on August 13.

Van de Ven, who made 36 appearances for Wolfsburg in the 2022-23 campaign, has attracted interest from Liverpool and made clear his desire to play in England during an interview with De Telegraaf recently.

“I have always dreamed of the Premier League because the biggest clubs play there and I also see that competition as the best in the world,” Van de Ven said in June.

Tottenham also remain in talks with Bayer Leverkusen over the signature of centre-back Edmond Tapsoba, who alongside Van de Ven has been high on the club’s list of potential targets this summer.

A move for both Bundesliga-based defenders has not been ruled out but Spurs are working on other transfers.

Blackburn centre-back Ash Phillips is expected to complete his move to Tottenham this weekend.

Spurs entered discussions with the Sky Bet Championship club last month for the England youth international, but negotiations stalled over a final transfer fee.

A £2m release clause for Phillips will become active after Friday, which will allow Tottenham to complete the signing of the 18-year-old.

Phillips’ arrival will not impact on Postecoglou’s desire to boost his senior options in defence, with the centre-back viewed as a player for the future.

Tottenham have also opened talks with Rosario Central over 19-year-old forward Alejo Veliz.

Veliz impressed at the Under-20 World Cup this summer, scoring three goals for Argentina. Discussions are at an early stage but Spurs are eager to make a number of signings during a busy final month of the summer transfer window.

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