Ryan Mason understands why Harry Kane would want to play with Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne – hailing the Belgian as an “exceptional” talent.
Interim Tottenham boss Mason faced further questions on Friday about the future of striker Kane, who has dropped heavy hints he wants to leave Spurs at the end of the season.
Kane said in an interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap that De Bruyne’s service to City’s front players is “a striker’s dream”, and that has only fuelled speculation the England captain could be heading to the blue side of Manchester.
Mason, who counts Kane as a close friend, said he had not heard the interview.
“But I would love to play with Kevin De Bruyne as well,” Mason said. “I think every footballer in the world, every footballer in the Premier League [would want to].
“He’s an exceptional player and from what I know – I’ve spoke to him a few times – he’s an exceptional person as well.
“If you ask any footballer in world football right now, if they’d like to play with Kevin De Bruyne, I think they’d say yes.”
Kane could play for Tottenham for the last time on Sunday, when Mason’s team visit Leicester City on the final day of the Premier League season.
Mason says that is where his focus must be, rather than on the future of Kane or any other member of his squad.
Kane also has a strong personal incentive to perform strongly, given he sits level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on 22 goals at the top of the league scoring charts.
“I’ve been out on the training pitch, preparing for a game that we need to win. Harry is going to be part of that,” Mason said.
“I hope Harry scores a couple, I think his performances this season have warranted the Golden Boot.
“I think he’s the best player in the Premier League. Hopefully from an individual point of view, he gets the Golden Boot as well and, in doing that, helps Tottenham get three points.
“That’s the most important thing. I can’t speak on transfer value. In football, things change so quickly. At the moment, Harry’s a Tottenham player. He’s going to be involved and hopefully he can win the Golden Boot.”
Kane has scored seven goals across his career on the final matchday of Premier League seasons – only Andy Cole (nine), Les Ferdinand (nine) and Matt Le Tissier (eight) have scored more such goals in the competition.
He has also scored more Premier League goals against Leicester – a club he previously represented on loan – than he has past any other opponent, with his 14 goals in 11 games a striking record.
Seven of those goals have come in six games at the King Power Stadium, including a four-goal haul in May 2017. He followed that three days later with a hat-trick against Hull City in a breathtaking finish to a season that saw Kane score four Premier League hat-tricks.
Mason, who played with Kane at Tottenham, was forced to retire early from playing football due to a head injury, and the 29-year-old knows more than most the importance of snatching every great opportunity that arises in what can be a short career.
Kane’s firm stance is that he wants to be in a team that wins trophies, and Tottenham have not unlocked the potential that looked to be there during much of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign.
Post-career “regrets” are the sought-after striker’s biggest fear, he told Neville.
“No player wants to end their career with regret, I don’t think any human being likes having regrets,” Mason said. “It’s normal. If you speak to any player in the world, they’d probably say the same.
“My attention and every player’s attention is on the weekend. At the moment, the only conversations I’m having are about the weekend, with not only Harry but also every other player in the squad.”