Conte has replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at Tottenham, but Paul Merson believes the Italian will face challenges when it comes to Kane, who is badly out of form in the Premier League
New Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has been warned that the Harry Kane rumour mill will start back up again in the January transfer window, with the striker enduring a tough start to the season.
Kane was forced to stay at Spurs in the summer, despite demanding a departure from the club, with Manchester City unwilling to pay his high asking price.
But it has not been a good start to the new campaign for the England captain, who has scored just one goal in the Premier League after 10 games of the season.
His struggles to score were a major reason behind the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo, who was fired by Daniel Levy on Monday morning after a chastening defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.
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Conte was announced as the Portuguese manager’s successor on Tuesday, with the Italian taking the squad for their training session on the same day.
Though Kane still has more than two years to run on his current contract, Conte has now been warned that he will face a January full of questions about the striker’s future.
Former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes that City will renew their interest in the 28-year-old, having had a mixed time in front of goal this season.
“The Harry Kane thing starts all over again in January. Look at Man City, they’ve failed to score in six of their 16 games this season, which is unthinkable,” Merson wrote in a column for Sky Sports.
“I think in January, Kane to City is still alive. Man City are in danger of falling behind Chelsea at the moment. This is the problem Nuno had, and Conte has the same issue with Kane.
“He’ll have to hit the ground running. Spurs fans want to play the ‘ Tottenham Way’ – I’m not sure what that is, exactly, as they haven’t won anything.”
While Conte has been told he faces losing Kane, Merson backed the Italian to get the best out of Dele Alli, who was shunned by Nuno in his final weeks in charge.
“Dele Alli might find an advantage here. Spurs will play three at the back – I’d be shocked if they didn’t – then you’ve got to get people in the box,” he added.
“That could help Dele Alli go back to what made him the name he is – which is getting forward and scoring goals, making runs and getting into the box.
“He’s a very good finisher. He’s stopped doing that. He’s started coming short, wanting to spray the ball around the pitch, but without disrespecting him, he’s not that player.
“Nobody was like him in the league, and that’s why he was playing for England. He was breaking from midfield and scoring goals.”
Nuno was the third successive manager who Dele had fallen out of favour under, with Merson now warning the Englishman his career is at risk.
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“You just want to get hold of Dele Alli, because his career could just pass him by. He’d have had one or two good seasons, and before you know it, it’s finished,” he wrote.
“I’m not blaming him for anything that’s happened – far from it – but I look at him and think it’s such a shame. When he’s doing his thing, he’s better than anybody else.
“I think he’s got a chance with Conte – he’s got to be like a Frank Lampard, breaking into the box and scoring goals.
“It’s always different when a new manager gets in; those who were not getting much time have a chance.”
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