London (AFP) – Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says Harry Kane is “totally involved in this project” at the club after the England captain attempted to engineer a move to Manchester City during the summer transfer window.

Chairman Daniel Levy stood firm and the 28-year-old forward, who is under contract until 2024, was forced to stay at Spurs.

Kane had a slow start to the season but has recovered his scoring touch under Conte, who replaced Nuno Espirito Santo as manager in early November.

Conte, whose side visit his former club Chelsea in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, said Kane was a key part of his plans.

“I knew the situation in the summer and, when Harry decided to stay in Tottenham, I found a player totally involved in this project now,” he said.

“I am happy to have him in my team because for sure we are talking about the top player, a top striker in the world, and if we want to win or if we want to think to build something to win, Harry must be a point of start.”

Conte praised Levy for refusing to let his star man go, despite the lure of a huge transfer fee.

“He wants to give 100 percent in every game and I am totally satisfied with his commitment and the relationship that we have created within the team,” he said.

“He is a point of reference in the dressing room and an experienced player. I am totally enthusiastic about his involvement in the team and the Tottenham project.”

Spurs are desperate to end their trophy drought, which stretches back to 2008.

“I think that when Tottenham brought me here they wanted to send a signal outside,” Conte said. “And maybe also to our players. We see what happens because the coach that is used to winning, has to do.

“I think this is important. And we have to try to build a situation where we are all involved and to try to create a situation that we can be competitive to try to win.”