Could the Carabao Cup final make or break Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham?

Tottenham have the chance to end a chaotic week on a high by winning their first trophy in 13 years when they take on Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. 

The build-up to the clash at Wembley has been dominated by talk of the controversial European Super League, which Spurs joined then left along with the rest of the ‘Big Six’, and the sacking of manager Jose Mourinho.

After a turbulent seven days in the football world, attention now turns back to matters on the pitch and, for Harry Kane, Sunday’s final is make or break. 

It’s make or break for Harry Kane as he looks to win his first trophy with Tottenham on Sunday

Despite Kane’s best efforts, with 219 goals to his name, he is still looking for his first trophy with his boyhood club. 

The striker, who turns 28 in July, is approaching a crossroads in his career as he weighs up his loyalty to Spurs and his desire to win silverware. 

He suffered heartbreak in the Champions League final in 2019 while Spurs collapsed in the title race against Leicester in 2016. If the club go another season without a trophy and fail to make the top four the striker will have a big decision to make after the Euros.

Sunday’s opponents Manchester City are one of the teams Kane has been linked with. Sergio Aguero will leave the Etihad in the summer and Pep Guardiola’s side are looking for a replacement.

A reunion with former boss Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain has also been mooted but would prevent him from chasing down Alan Shearer’s Premier League goalscoring record.

It will be Kane’s former team-mate and academy graduate Ryan Mason leading Spurs out at Wembley, and for the rest of the season, but the club’s next managerial appointment will play a big role in deciding his future.

Kane faces Manchester City at Wembley, who have been linked with a move for this summer

Kane faces Manchester City at Wembley, who have been linked with a move for this summer

The striker is set to attract interest from other clubs at the end of the season

Pep Guardiola is looking for a replacement for Sergio Aguero

Pep Guardiola (right) could make a move for Kane as he looks to replace Sergio Aguero

A strong finish to the season and an exciting appointment could persuade the forward to remain in north London. Julian Nagelsmann and Brendan Rodgers have both been linked with the role.

But former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is the bookies favourite while Jurgen Klinsmann has also refused to rule himself out of contention. 

Sarri was sacked by Juventus last year while Klinsmann left Hertha Berlin under a cloud after failing to take the USA to the World Cup in 2018. 

Several pundits have had their say on Kane and what his next steps should be, with many believing he should move on at the end of the season.

Roy Keane insisted the striker has to leave if he wants to win the big trophies. 

‘He’s a professional,’ the Irishman said on ITV last month. ‘If you’re a top player you want to win trophies. It’s a big few months coming up for Tottenham, the League Cup final, can they get in the top four? Huge question marks.

‘Will that influence him? He’s obviously under contract, Tottenham will have a lot to say about it.

Kane suffered heartbreak as Spurs lost the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019

Kane suffered heartbreak as Spurs lost the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019 

The striker has 219 goals for Tottenham and 164 in the Premier League as he chases Alan Shearer’s record

‘But if you’re in his shoes and it comes to the summer, I think the guy has to move on to really win the big prizes. He’s not going to do it at Tottenham.’

Graeme Souness suggested winning the Carabao Cup may not be enough to persuade Kane to stay and claimed there will be many big clubs desperate to sign him.

‘Even if they beat City, he might still want to think about leaving,’ he told Sky Sports in March. 

‘He turns 28 in the summer, and time is running out for Spurs to deliver collectively on what his individual efforts deserve. And those individual efforts have been world class.

‘Unlike some in the punditry profession, great is not a term I confer lightly on footballers but Kane has the right to be called that.

‘Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City — he would walk into the starting line-up of any of those teams. The window of opportunity to do so while in his prime is not big.’

Kane’s former Spurs team-mate Jermain Defoe has also said that the striker may regret staying in north London for too long if he does not leave this summer.

Roy Keane believes Kane has to leave Spurs to win the big prizes

Graeme Souness has also said the striker should move on

Roy Keane (left) and Graeme Souness (right) have both said Kane should leave Spurs

‘If you’d have asked me this question a few years ago, I’d have said he should have stayed there, what he’s done at the football club – he’s a legend,’ he told talkSPORT.

‘Since I’ve come away from that and gone to Rangers, I’ve seen that mentality and played for another big club, the importance of playing for that club and winning every game, that mentality, the standards and demands.

‘You have to win and bring silverware, otherwise it’s not good enough. When you actually achieve that and the feeling you get from that, wow man. I wish I had that earlier on in my career.

‘If Harry Kane wants that and wants to win trophies then it looks like he has to go.

‘I don’t think it will be easy for him to leave and he might be looking at it and want to finish off being the highest goalscorer in the club’s history and see where that takes him.

‘He can hopefully win a few trophies, but if he’s really craving medals then he really has to go.’

Kane has three years left on his Spurs contract and the club are desperate to keep him, meaning any suitors would likely have to stump up fee of more than £100million. They will also be extremely reluctant to sell to a Premier League rival.

But the forward has not ruled out leaving and confirmed his future would be decided after the Euros.

‘I think that’s a hard question to answer right now,’ Kane said while on England duty in March.

The 28-year-old has not ruled out leaving north London at the end of the 2020-2021 season

The 28-year-old has not ruled out leaving north London at the end of the 2020-2021 season

‘I’m fully focussed on doing the job on the pitch from now until the end of the summer, and then we’ll see where we go from there.’ 

Back in March 2020, Kane also admitted he could leave the club if he didn’t think they were progressing. 

‘I’ve always said if I don’t feel we’re progressing as a team or going in the right direction then I’m not someone to just stay there for the sake of it. I’m an ambitious player, I want to improve, I want to get better.

‘It all depends on what happens with the team and if we progress as a team. It’s not a definite “yes, I’m gonna stay there forever” but it’s not a no either.’

It could all depend on the next four weeks and whether Tottenham finish the season with a trophy and European football or end up disappointed once again. 

Sunday will be Kane’s biggest game since the Champions League final two years ago and could shape the rest of his career.

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