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Ryan Mason denies Harry Kane was saying farewell to Tottenham

LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur caretaker boss Ryan Mason has insisted that Harry Kane was not saying farewell to Spurs after the striker waved to fans following Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League home defeat by Brentford.

The England captain’s brilliant free kick put Tottenham ahead after eight minutes in north London as he reached 30 goals in all competitions this term, including 28 in the English top flight.

But Brentford hit back to win as Bryan Mbeumo’s double and Yoane Wissa’s late goal left frustrated Spurs fans chanting for chairman Daniel Levy to be axed.

Following their final home game of a dismal campaign in which they currently lie in eighth place, the players did a lap of honour in front of a largely empty stadium.

Kane, with his family on the pitch, waved to the fans who had stayed, in what was interpreted as a goodbye amid growing uncertainty over his future.

After he failed to engineer a move to Manchester City in 2021, Kane, who has one year left on his contract, has been linked to Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain.

But Mason said: “He waves at the crowd every season. I remember sitting here two years ago and you guys were convinced he was leaving, saying the same thing.

“It’s the last home game of the season so he wants to show his appreciation to the support he’s received and we’ve all received this season.”

However, there are still strong rumours that Kane will leave in the summer, with United reportedly making him their No. 1 target when the transfer window opens in June.

“First of all, the number of goals,” United boss Erik ten Hag had said when asked what impressed him most about Kane.

“And also his key actions (that) lead to a goal. Final passes as well. He is just a great player. Great personality as well.”

It remains to be seen where Kane will end up but successive defeats have damaged Tottenham’s hopes of securing European football next season.

Failing to make it into Europe would be a fitting conclusion to a troubled campaign that featured Antonio Conte’s departure after he labelled the players selfish and criticised the culture of a club that last won silverware in 2008.

Mason, hired after Conte’s replacement Cristian Stellini was sacked, admitted it hurt to see so many fans depart before the lap of honour.

“Of course. It is understandable because of how the season has gone on and off the pitch but ultimately we know the fans will be there next season,” he said.

“This club will keep moving forward and now is the time where we need to be stronger than ever and believe in what we’re going to do, commit to it and have people that are committed to it.

“And I always say in football things can change very quickly and the energy can change quickly.” AFP