Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has been told he may have to leave north London to fulfil his potential, with Barcelona or Real Madrid a possible destination. The 24-year-old has been labelled one of the best strikers in the world by manager Mauricio Pochettino after scoring twice in the Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund and has netted 30 times in his last 22 games for club and country.
Having also surpassed the century mark for Spurs and won the Premier League golden boot in his last two campaigns, Kane has cemented his status as one of English football's leading finishers, yet he remains without any major silverware. Pochettino's men finished second in the table behind champions Chelsea last term and are already three points off the pace after four games of this campaign.
Having translated his domestic form onto the European stage Kane has further enhanced his reputation but ex-England international Phil Neville feels his ambition of being regarded among the world's best may require him to leave Tottenham in the future. The six-time Premier League winner expects the ex-Leyton Orient and Millwall loanee to want a move to Real or Barcelona in the coming years if his current club continue to fail to win trophies.
"He could have to leave Spurs to become that top, top world class Robert Lewandowski-type player," Neville told BBC Sport. "If Spurs maintain being a top-four team, that will not be good enough for Harry Kane.
"I think he needs to be challenging for Ballon d'Ors. I think he needs to be challenging for Champions Leagues and if Spurs are always going to be that 'nearly team', eventually he will want to leave and join a Real Madrid or a Barcelona.
"There will always be a doubt about Harry Kane until he gets to that level. The Ballon d'Or puts you up to greatness, it puts you up on that pedestal to be the best. I think Cristiano Ronaldo's main goal in life now, Lionel Messi's maybe as well, is to win the Ballon d'Or as it shows they are the best in the world.
"Kane has the killer instinct of Ruud van Nistelrooy. He runs around and bullies defenders like Diego Costa. He is the most complete centre-forward I have seen for some time. All centre-forwards are selfish. Van Nistelrooy used to punch the shower and rip the shower head off if he hadn't scored. Kane has got that but he also has that other side where he is an unbelievable team player."
As well as missing out on the title, Tottenham were knocked out of the semi-final of the FA Cup and the fourth round of the EFL Cup last term; while in Europe they made early exits from the Champions League and the Europa League. Kane was unperturbed however and scored 35 goals in all competitions, with 29 coming in the league.
Manchester United have been continually linked with a move for Kane, who signed a new contract last December which runs until 2022, though reports in the summer via The Independent claimed Tottenham were only considering listening to bids approaching £200m. The Old Trafford side are understood to be waiting for Kane to desire a move away from Spurs before firming up their interest.
Two clubs who could however match Tottenham's valuation are Barcelona and Real, neither of whom are adverse to big-money signings. While Los Blancos have smashed the transfer record on four occasions – including when they acquired Gareth Bale, Barcelona have not set the benchmark since Brazil striker Ronaldo arrived from Inter Milan in 1997. Either way, an offer in excess of the £195m [€222m] which Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar would be required to make the deal a reality.