October 17, 2017 / 5:28 PM / a year ago

Soccer: Real Madrid obliged to go for a player like Kane, says former president

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid are likely to try to sign Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane so they can continue their current cycle at the summit of European football, the club’s former president Ramon Calderon said on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Tottenham Hotspur Training - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - October 16, 2017 Tottenham's Harry Kane during training Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Kane, 24, has scored 13 times in his past nine matches for club and country and has been the focus of heavy media attention before Tuesday’s blockbuster Champions League clash between Spurs and Real Madrid.

Real have been crowned champions of Europe three times in the past four years while slowly stepping away from their model of signing global stars, which current president Florentino Perez famously termed Galacticos, each summer.

Calderon, however, believes that attracting the top players is vital to Real maintaining their hegemony in Europe and said he would not be surprised if they went all out to try to bring Kane to the Spanish capital.

“Now Madrid are always on the lookout for the top players,” Calderon told Reuters on Tuesday at the World Football Summit in Madrid.

“A club like Real Madrid is obliged to have important players so they can bring in new sponsors, brands and keep generating more money so they can maintain their current status. That money helps you to invest, save and invest again.

“I suppose Madrid would like to sign Kane, it depends on a few things, such as the desires of player and the coach, but without a doubt he is an outstanding player.”

Real coach Zinedine Zidane declined to answer in a news conference before Tuesday’s game whether he would want to sign Kane but hailed the England striker as “a complete player”.

Calderon was president of Real between July 2006 and January 2009. He agreed the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for what was then a world record 80 million pound ($105 million) fee, though the Portuguese player did not move to Madrid until July 2009, by which time Calderon had been succeeded by Perez.

The transfer fee record was later broken by deals for Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba before being smashed last summer when Paris St Germain signed Brazilian Neymar for an eye-watering 222 million euros ($261 million).

Analysis by the CIES Football Observatory in June cited Kane’s value at 151 million euros, a price Calderon believes would not be too high for Real.

“He (Kane) would not be cheap, but when I signed Cristiano Ronaldo for 80 million everyone thought I was crazy and look where we are now,” Calderon said.

“150 million is now seen as nothing, it’s normal. We no longer know what the limit is.”

($1 = 0.8509 euros)

($1 = 0.7586 pounds)

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by David Goodman

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