Manchester United? Chelsea? Manchester City? Five potential destinations for Tottenham striker Harry Kane
England captain has told Spurs he wants to leave this summer
Harry Kane has put the world’s biggest teams on alert after he told Tottenham Hotspur he wants to leave this summer.
The England captain has reportedly run out of patience with the club’s failure to secure major trophies, and made it known he wants a move away.
The 27-year-old striker, who came through the ranks at Spurs and is regarded as “Mr Tottenham”, is said to prefer the idea of a move within the Premier League, although Spain is also an option.
But, with football’s transfer market so uncertain given the effect of the pandemic, which of the leading suitors would be Kane’s most likely destination?
Kane has made no secret of the fact he has eyes on Alan Shearer’s record as the all-time leading Premier League goalscorer. He needs 95 more to achieve that, which might be part of the reason he favours a move to another English team.
United, for their part, are said to be planning to spend big this summer, in an attempt to appease fans still livid at the club’s owners over the Super League fiasco.
There is a recent precedent for a beloved Spurs striker engineering a move away and ending up at Old Trafford.
If Kane is to follow the path trodden by Dimitar Berbatov in 2008, he can be sure Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, will drive a hard bargain.
Expect negotiations to linger interminably, if this is the course of action that follows. Levy would likely hold out for more than £120 million ($170.2m).
Pep Guardiola tried to claim recently that Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund’s wunderkind, will be beyond Manchester City’s means when he is inevitably transferred this summer.
Whether that is true or not, the Norwegian striker does not seem an altogether perfect fit with City.
For all his extraordinary scoring exploits, Haaland did not excel in Dortmund’s matches against them in the Champions League, and is not a prototypical Guardiola forward.
Would Kane be a better replacement when Sergio Aguero departs the Etihad Stadium this month? Could City become The Harry Kane Team?
He has shown this season, by way of 13 assists for Spurs, that he is no longer the old-style, focal-point No 9 he was seen to be previously, making him a better fit for City’s fluid system. City is also said to be Kane’s preferred option.
Given Kane’s affinity with Spurs – he is one of their own – a switch from the north London club to their bitter rivals to the west seems inconceivable. A move up north would be just about bearable.
But to Chelsea? Stranger things have happened. If it did happen, Kane would likely attract much of the same scorn and hatred that was meted out to Sol Campbell when he swapped to Arsenal 20 years ago.
From Chelsea’s point of view, though, the move would make sense. The fact they have reached two major cup finals and are in the running for Champions League football next season qualifies as a reasonably successful campaign. Yet they have done it all without a regular goalscorer.
Since November, Timo Werner has scored only one more Premier League goal than Alisson Becker, the Liverpool goalkeeper.
Kai Havertz has been undermined by illness after his big money arrival, while Tammy Abraham appears to be on his way out.
Kane would guarantee a solution to those problems, and make Chelsea title contenders again.
Atletico are on the brink of the Primera Liga title thanks largely to the goals of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker has scored 20 goals in the 31 games since his surprise switch from Barcelona last summer.
He is 34 now, though, and Spain’s champions elect are making plans for the future in his position.
Kane has many of the attributes Diego Simeone, Atletico’s manager, values – chiefly that he is ultra-clinical in front of goal, but also with his work-rate and his nous at drawing fouls.
And ex-Spurs players have recent history of success at the Wanda Metropolitano. Kieran Trippier, Kane’s former colleague at Tottenham, has been an integral part of Atletico’s success.
Kane’s sudden availability may be a little too late for this move to happen, though. Atletico have reportedly sewn up the signing of Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan – despite the Argentina No 9’s protestations to the contrary this week.
Florentino Perez, the club’s president, has been clinging on vainly to his Super League dream as he hopes it will help revive the club's parlous finances.
The vast hole in their bank account means Madrid are not the irresistible force they once were in the transfer market.
However, they are still likely to spend this summer. What rank of Galactico they can afford remains to be seen, but they are apparently planning a firesale to finance it – with as many as 10 players, including Eden Hazard, said to be available for transfer.
Whether they can recoup enough to finance a deal for Kane is debatable.
And would they want him anyway? Karim Benzema, their current centre forward, has been one of their most consistent performers of recent times.
Updated: May 18, 2021 02:56 PM