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Ange Postecoglou press conference, Harry Kane contract, future, Hugo Lloris, Tottenham friendly against West Ham in Australia, FIFA Women’s World Cup

Ange Postecoglou has addressed media in Perth ahead of Tottenham’s pre-season friendly against West Ham, providing updates on the playing future of Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris in a wide-ranging interview.

Kane’s future was the first topic of discussion for Postecoglou, with Bayern Munich having already shown strong interest in signing the 29-year-old.

In fact, honorary president Uli Hoeness told SPORT1 earlier in the week that Kane has “very clearly signalled his decision” to leave Tottenham for the German champions.

For now it is just noise, with no confirmation of any such move as Postecoglou telling reporters on Monday that “no one” has spoken to him from Munich.

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“I had a good chat with Harry,” Postecoglou opened.

“As I said before, nothing earth-shattering or defining from I guess what people are seeking.

Just a good chat. I sort of introduced myself and we spoke mainly about the club and kind of where he thinks it’s at and where he thinks we can improve things and training ever since, it’s been good.”

When pressed on the vision for the club’s future that he may try to sell to Kane, Postecoglou insisted his focus since arriving at Tottenham has never been about just one player — no matter how big the name.

“It’s not a specific vision for one person, it’s about the group,” the Australian said.

“Me and Harry were perfectly aligned in that, we want to see a successful team this year.

“For me it’s about really focusing on everybody and making sure that we set the environment in the right way. The players have been brilliant so far, really receptive and open-minded about what we’re trying to do. Coaches have been brilliant in delivering that message.

“It’s been as positive as you can. It’s preseason, you know. I think everyone thinks they have a great preseason until the games start but so far it’s been good.”

Kane has travelled with the team after being included in Tottenham’s pre-season squad set for Australia, at one point spotted shaking hands with chairman Daniel Levy.

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Ange Postecoglou is Tottenham’s new coach. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)
Ange Postecoglou is Tottenham’s new coach. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)Source: Supplied

The 29-year-old’s future will continue to be a point of contention externally but Postecoglou said it won’t be a distraction inside the group.

It is also not a focus for Tottenham’s new boss himself, with Postecoglou telling reporters his chat with Kane was not an attempt to finalise the superstar striker’s future.

“Again, I said the discussion wasn’t really about that. It was more about, like I said, the collective and what we’re doing,” Postecoglou said.

“Harry’s the same as all the other players. It’s not something I ask when they walk through the door, ‘Have you got a ticket or not?’

“It’s just about as we go along, we’re working hard as a group. Some will be on for the whole journey and others won’t. But a lot of that sort of gets decided along the way. It’s not something that I’m sitting down and demanding from people right at the outset.

“The reality is we have got a bit less than a month before the season starts, the transfer window is still open for a while, so we’ll see how it all transpires.

“There are a lot of people that know Harry better than me but he’s not going to get fazed by anything. He’s here and while he’s here, he’s totally committed to what we’re doing.

“That’s the way I’ve seen things. In terms of me, it has zero impact on me. If other people and clubs want to talk about our contracted players, that’s more of an issue for them than us.”

Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham is up in the air. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

While Kane’s future at the club may be up in the air, it appears far more likely that captain Lloris will be out the exit door.

Lloris was given permission to skip the team’s pre-season tour squad, instead training back home as he looks to find a new club after 11 years in north London.

Postecoglou said he had a “good chat” with Lloris and confirmed the goalkeeper is ready to “begin the next phase of his career” away from Tottenham.

“He’s been an outstanding servant for this football club for quite a long time,” Postecoglou said.

“Captain of the club, he’s made an indelible mark at Tottenham football club. I had a chat with him and he felt that he’s obviously hoping for a move somewhere else so he can play and begin the next phase of his career.

“I had a good chat with him and really left it up to him whether he wanted to come along because I think he deserves that respect to garner the direction of his own future because of his standing.

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“I’ve only sort of had two or three chats with him but even at training I can see he’s an outstanding goalkeeper but also an outstanding human being as well. From my perspective we had an open discussion and he just felt it would be better for him hopefully with a move imminent rather than bringing him halfway around the world that he stays at the training ground, works there and prepares for his next opportunity.

“It doesn’t diminish his contribution to the football club. It’s the hardest thing for a footballer, sometimes you can’t write your endings.

“It’s probably not the way he wanted to finish his career at Tottenham with everything that he’s contributed, but at the same time I don’t think it needs to be anything other than a positive outcome in that he leaves as someone who’s made a mark at a very big football club and for all players I guess that’s what they’re looking for.”

Hugo Lloris is looking for a fresh start. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Lloris’ imminent departure means Postecoglou will be on the lookout for a new captain, although the Australian is going into that process with an open mind.

“Some of those things you’re better off letting it grow organically rather than forcing things and having preconceived ideas,” he said.

“I just want to see how the group works. Like I said, so far the whole group has been really strong in terms of committing to what we’re going to do and that’s what you want to see. Within that you see individuals who will look to lead and they all lead in different ways.

“It doesn’t always mean it’s the highest profile or loudest, it’s sometimes by actions and what I’m looking for is hopefully leadership within the whole group. Guys that are prepared for what we’re about to embark on and to take that responsibility.”

Postecoglou admitted it was “pretty bizarre” that he would be overseeing his first game as Tottenham coach back in Australia, with the Spurs facing West Ham at 8pm (AEST) on Tuesday.

“Chuffed to bits that this is going to be our first official game,” added Postecoglou.

“I always enjoy it, obviously I came here with Celtic last year. I knew the lads would enjoy it here, the weather’s beautiful, it’s been great and I think they would enjoy the environment here and I think they have.

“It’s important for us, it’s an important tour for us because we get to spend some time together as a group, get to know one another, and so far it’s been positive.”

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Australian football fans will be spoiled for choice this week, with the FIFA Women’s World Cup also kicking off on Thursday as the Matildas play the Republic of Ireland in Sydney.

It presents yet another opportunity for Australia to capitalise on the success of its men’s national team in Qatar, although Postecoglou warned it won’t happen automatically.

After all, in an interview with Stan Sport FC last year, Postecoglou conceded he initially thought Australia’s triumph at the 2015 Asian Cup would be a “watershed moment” for the sport.

“The reason I was obsessed with winning the Asian Cup was because I thought that could be a watershed moment for Australian football because I think winning is everything,” Postecoglou said at the time.

“I equated it to the Euros. When a nation wins the Euros, irrespective of how strong a nation – could be a Denmark or Greece – it’s a seminal moment in that country’s evolution because, all of a sudden, they feel like they’ve achieved something.”

Instead, Postecoglou was left feeling “flat” after the success failed to have the widespread impact he had been hoping for.

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That, of course, doesn’t mean history will repeat. But Postecoglou isn’t just assuming the best either.

“Where it is right now is where it’s been many times,” he said on Monday.

“It’s what happens from now on. Australian football has always been pretty good at making a mark. Sonny mentioned 2015 and the Asian Cup and barely a ripple.

“Hopefully what it means now is, particularly with the girls, it’s getting great exposure all over the world. In the UK there’s great exposure there and there’s a great chance to make an impact.

“The Socceroos were brilliant at the World Cup. The A League is producing good young players. It’s about the game taking advantage of that and making an indelible footprint in the sporting landscape here, which we know is always challenging. It’s where it’s been a lot of times. Hopefully this time it takes advantage of it.”

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