Harry Kane has been in this movie before, his intention to ensure it was scripted exactly as he envisioned.

“Ultimately it’s going to be down to me and how I feel and what’s going to be the best for me and my career in this moment in time,” he said before what ultimately proved to be a concerted attempt to leave Tottenham Hotspur in summer 2021. It was a bold move, but ultimately a spectacular miscalculation.

I’m not sure exactly what calculation led Kane to believe that very publicly attempting to assert power over Daniel Levy – the above quote is from a Sky Sports interview with Gary Neville – would be a favourable strategy, but the striker got his numbers badly wrong.

Spurs’ long-serving chairman is widely regarded as the most difficult man in football to negotiate with. Sir Alex Ferguson once described the process of signing Dimitar Berbatov as ‘more painful than my hip replacement’. When Manchester City offered more than £100million for Kane in the wake of his sit down with Neville, Levy was reportedly so incensed he point-blank refused to negotiate. Levy has rejected this reputation, insisting he simply does what he feels is best for his club, but clearly he is not someone you directly confront on a whim.

Kane found this out to his cost – literally, he was fined two weeks wages for reporting back late for training – and eventually penned a rather muted statement insisting he no longer wanted to leave north London. Fast forward two years, Kane and Levy are heading for round two.

Having been stung in the past, you have to think the Spurs and England captain will play things rather differently.

Reports from Germany indicate he has an agreement in principle to sign for Bayern Munich, but that the Bundesliga champions have had an opening bid of £60m rejected outright. Given Levy refused to entertain City’s nine figure offer two years ago, it’s no surprise Bayern will have to up their offer to land the successor to Robert Lewandowski.

It’s said that Levy’s ‘not for sale’ stance on his club’s talisman remains unchanged, but Kane’s position is made stronger this time around by the fact he is now moving into the final year of his contract. The risk for Levy is losing a player of Kane’s ability and value for absolutely nothing next summer.

Selling to a foreign club over a Premier League rival is likely to be a more amenable option, and it has been widely reported that Manchester United have been put off by Spurs’ £100m+ valuation, despite Kane being manager Erik ten Hag’s preferred choice as he looks for a new striker. But it still seems very possible that Levy’s intention will be to hold on to his club skipper, even if it means his future remains unresolved heading into next season. Kane himself, you feel, will surely tread more carefully this time around given his camp’s attempts to back Levy into a corner in 2021 resulted only in him doubling down on a steadfast refusal to sell.

The third element in this situation is Ange Postecoglou.

When Kane last tried to leave, Tottenham did not have a manager in place at all for much of the protracted process. This time, though, there’s a new man in charge keen to stamp his own authority.

Postecoglou was as strong-willed as they come during his time at Celtic. That trait was most often associated with a steadfast refusal to dampen his team’s attacking instincts, but another closely held principle was he was only interested in working with players who wanted to be at Celtic.

When it became clear Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis were looking elsewhere, Postecoglou did not stand in the way of either. When Australian midfielder Riley McGree joined Middlesbrough despite holding talks with Celtic, his countryman was unequivocal on how he viewed players who did want to play for the club.

“I only want players who want to be here,” Postecoglou declared. “I won’t try and convince any player to come and sign for this football club. I won’t. If they can’t see the opportunities that exist here then that’s part of the deal for me. The ones we have signed all wanted to come here.

“It’s an easy decision. Everyone has their own free will to decide what’s best for them. But I’m not going to sell this club to anyone on its attributes or virtues. If they can’t understand that in the first place, then they’re probably not worth talking to from my perspective.”

You could argue that dealing with a world-class footballer of Kane’s calibre inevitably introduces shades of grey to such a stance, and that may well end up being the case. But if Postecoglou makes clear he only has eyes for those who are fully committed to the cause, regardless of who they may be, it could influence Levy’s thinking over a potential sale.

The new manager’s job is difficult enough without there being a prolonged transfer sideshow around the club’s most high-profile player, and Postecoglou regularly gave short shrift to a similar situation with Odsonne Edouard when he first walked in the door at Celtic Park. It was an open secret that the French striker wanted to leave Glasgow and his manager repeatedly insisted he would not try and convince anyone to stay.

Instead, with a considerable rebuilding job on his hands, Postecoglou concerned himself mostly with who was going to be part of his squad moving forward. Celtic were so short on numbers at times that Edouard remained in and around the team, but it quickly became clear that Kyogo Furuhashi had been brought in to be the main man.

In Kane’s case, this could create an intriguing dynamic; player who wants to leave, chairman unwilling to sell and in between them a manager only concerned with those who want to work with him. I’m not suggesting Postecoglou is about to freeze Kane out completely, but if he’s going to succeed at Tottenham he will know it has to be by doing things his way.

A stand-off between Kane and Levy which, like the last time, drags on all summer does him absolutely no favours, and you feel he will privately crave a quick resolution one way or another.

But who will blink first, star striker or iron-willed chairman? We could be waiting a while.