Antonio Conte has warned Tottenham Hotspur that he will only consider their offer to become their new manager if he can be guaranteed that star striker Harry Kane will not be sold.
Kane has asked to leave the club this summer and has attracted interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. But chairman Daniel Levy is prepared to dig his feet in and deny the striker's request.
Levy's stance hasn't sat well with Kane, who believes he has a gentleman's agreement with the chairman over an exit this summer. He has made it clear that nothing the club can say will convince him to stay, and even rehiring former boss Mauricio Pochettino wouldn't be enough.
Struggles dealing with Paris Saint-Germain over Pochettino have seen Spurs turn to Conte, whom The Times state has demanded Kane stay at the club on top of significant funds to rebuild the squad immediately.
The Telegraph add that Levy is happy to promise Conte that Kane will not be sold, regardless of the damage that could do to the England captain's relationships with both men.
Conte is known to be an enormous fan of Kane - who he named as his dream striker target four years ago during his time with Chelsea - and while the 27-year-old would surely value that kind of passion, he might not take kindly to being forced to stay because of it.
Kane's future is one of several hurdles Spurs must overcome before they can land Conte. The Italian's wage demands are believed to sit at over £8.5m per season, more than Pochettino took home during his time at the club.
Finding that money, on top of the significant transfer budget Conte is looking for, is not going to be simple for Spurs, but the desperation to sign a top manager and become competitive again may force their hand.
Nevertheless, BBC Sport state there is a 'growing expectation' that Conte will be the next Spurs manager, suggesting Levy has made the Italian whatever promises he asked for.
Conte could even be joined by former Juventus chief Fabio Paratici, who has held talks over becoming Spurs' new sporting director. The chance to link up with Paratici once again is thought to appeal to Conte, but it could all hinge on whether Kane remains at the club or not.
Source : 90min