Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker has refused to rule out leaving the club this summer amid interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United. The England international is destined to leave north London after falling out of favour under Mauricio Pochettino, but admits he is not distracted by the speculation.
The Independent understands City, United and Barcelona are all interested in a move for the 27-year-old, who is valued at £35m (€40.2m) by Spurs. Walker was named in the PFA team of the season but ended the campaign on the periphery as rumours swelled regarding his long-term future.
Walker earns wages of £70,000-a-week but believes he can double his pay packet should he move to either City or United – who, like Tottenham, will be in the Champions League next season. Walker is currently training with England ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Scotland and friendly against France and is not distracted by the rumours – but passed up the opportunity to clarify his future.
"Not at all," said Walker, when asked if he had become aware of the uncertainty, according to Press Association. "I mean, you know coming away from club football kind of gives you a little bit of head space. I am an England player now and I am fully focused on a massive game on Saturday. We need to go and get the three points."
City have already acquired Bernardo Silva from Monaco and are set to add Benfica goalkeeper Ederson to their squad ahead of the new season. United, meanwhile, have not yet improved their squad but a new striker appears to be top of Jose Mourinho's wishlist.
Barca have also registered an interest in Walker, however with Hector Bellerin being among their preferred targets it is likely City and United will be left to duel for the former Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa full-back.
Amid the uncertainty into Walker's future he was left on the bench for a series of key games during the back-end of the season, including the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea and the final game at White Hart Lane against United. Kieran Trippier was preferred on each of those occasions, showings that forced his way into the England squad for the upcoming internationals – but Walker relishes the increased competition.
"I think it has pushed us both on as players, most definitely," said Walker "We get the best out of each other and, even if Tripps plays or I play, we've said privately to each other that we will spur each other on. I don't ever say a bad word or wish bad on him because it's more about the team rather than individual performances. We're putting on our England shirt now and whoever gets the nod I am sure the other one will be fully behind it.
"I've known Tripps since under-19s. We had a tournament with England in Ukraine. I played centre-half and he played right-back, I do believe. You know, it was a friendly rivalry and we got on. We get along well, we're two northern boys down south so we bounce off each other like that and we get along really well."