CHELSEA manager, Thomas Tuchel admits he was convinced Harry Kane would join Manchester City in the summer – but insists the prospect of the Tottenham striker heading to Etihad would not have filled him with fear.
The Chelsea manager was also interested in signing England’s captain, who made it clear he wanted to leave Spurs at the end of last season. But any attempts to secure his signing did not go beyond talks with third parties, with Tuchel left certain Kane was on his way to City.
While the prospect the of the country’s deadliest striker further strengthening the Premier League champions was a daunting one, Tuchel’s revealed on Friday that his greatest relief was seeing Kane continue his love affair with his boyhood club.
“I thought that this is going to happen,” he said. “No I was not scared, but if it would have happened I would have been very interested in how maybe it would have changed Manchester City’s style of playing.
“We are not afraid of anyone. We accept any team and Manchester City, Man United and Liverpool, they are the teams strong like no other in this league and they have strong squads. These are the guys with whom we want to compete and it’s normal that they fight for the best players and I thought this is maybe going to happen.
“On one side I was happy that he stayed because it is also nice that it exists in football that players play for one club only. Harry Kane is Tottenham and even for me, I have absolutely nothing to do with Tottenham, I have never worked for them, when I think about Tottenham in the last decade you think about Harry Kane and this is very nice.
“Like you think about Messi and straight away you think about Barcelona and it is very hard to think that he plays for another club now and that’s the same for Harry Kane.
“So from this side, I was happy because I like it and a part of my personality is still a fan and I like that things like this happen.
“It is also nice that Romelu (Lukaku) is back at Chelsea and some things are a good fit and should not be changed.”
Chelsea turned their attentions to Lukaku after accepting No1 target Erling Haaland was out of reach, while Kane was a non-starter, with the striker having his heart set on City.
Given the intense rivalry between the clubs, it is unthinkable Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would have even entertained the prospect of dealing with Chelsea.
Tuchel says it never even reached the point where an official approach was made.
“We never had a list with his name on it and I never went to Marina (Granovskaia) to tell her to buy him,” he said. “But the club sorted out the situation.
“There are many people around players, their agents and advisors and people in between and we had some information from these people, but it was never that close that we had to experience the rivalry. We know about the rivalry, but I had a feeling that it was never that far.”
Lukaku has made a stunning start to life at Stamford Bridge following his £97.5million move from Inter Milan, scoring four goals in as many games.
Tuchel believes he is the perfect fit for his team and will be the talisman for Chelsea as Kane is for Spurs.
“They love to score and they score whenever they play. They are up for it and it is a certain mindset that you cannot learn,” he added. “I am pretty sure these both started showing this mindset when they started playing football when five, six, seven years old.
“These guys are born to score goals and if they do not score they are not happy. They have a different style. Romelu is more physical. Harry is for me between the lines and open space.
“Both are super dangerous and key players. Harry does everything for his team no matter if he plays for Tottenham or England. He is not shy to work defensively. He does what is needed to do, to defend set pieces and whatever. Romelu is the same. He is here to help us win tittles. That is what big players do.
“They are role models in how they behave and how Romelu is like and how he trains, approaches pressure, deals with pressure, how he puts himself to the limit, how he talks to guys in the dressing room. It brings a huge effect.
“Before we even started the season he has the ability to take pressure off other younger players’ shoulders and that’s why we’re happy to have him.”