Spurs’ quiet, nondescript end to the season has been rocked by the news that Harry Kane wants to leave the club.
The talismanic striker has let Spurs know that he is unhappy at the lack of silverware at the club and wants to leave in order to compete for major honours. You’d have to factor playing in the Champions League as an important issue for Spurs too, and 2021/22 will be Spurs’ second season out of Europe’s top competition. For a world-class striker like Kane, that is simply not good enough.
Kane is about to turn 28, and will know that now is the ideal time for him to move to an elite club and spend a good five years competing at the top of football as often as possible. But which elite club? We’ve had a look at the options and come up with his dream, realistic and wildcard options.
Dream: Barcelona or Real Madrid
Kane wants to play at the highest level of football, he wants to win things. And looking at him in the Premier League, joint-top goalscorer, top assist-maker, it does feel like he’s ‘completed’ the division and is ready for the next level of challenge. Similarly to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, Gareth Bale in 2013 or Luis Suárez in 2014.
So what’s the next level? Barcelona or Real Madrid, of course. The two big Spanish sides have had difficult seasons in 2020/21 but their pulling power is still in a different stratosphere to the vast majority of clubs and they do both need a forward. And with 220 goals in 334 games for Spurs, and 34 goals in 53 games for England, Kane is one hell of a world-class forward.
Harry Kane has been directly involved in 35 Premier League goals this season, at least six more than any other player:
◎ 33 games
◉ 22 goals
◉ 13 assists
He might win the Golden Boot and the Playmaker Award. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/UQC9pXJw1g
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 17, 2021
Squawka Suggests: Barcelona
Real Madrid have Karim Benzema, one of the best no. 9s in the world. He is the talisman of their attack. Signing Kane would just get in his way; which is why Madrid are prioritising Kylian Mbappé.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are desperate for a no. 9. Sure in an ideal world that no. 9 would have real pace, but Kane is so good that it won’t be too much of a problem. With Ansu Fati returning to fitness after a year out injured, Barcelona would love to be able to rotate their front two between Kane, Fati and Leo Messi to keep everyone fit and healthy for the key games in Spring.
For Kane, the opportunity to play with the best player in the world at the head of a side stacked with world-class young talent like Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Ilaix Moriba would be too good to pass up – especially as he would inherit the side from Messi in a couple years and be the leader for all of these youngsters.
Most importantly: at Barcelona he would instantly begin each and every season challenging for a treble, with the expectation that the club will win at least one major trophy. That is the level he wants to be at, the level he already imposes on himself that Spurs cannot raise themselves to but Barcelona absurdly demand of themselves, every year; so it would be a dream fit.
Harry Kane transfer odds: To sign for before 3rd September (via Sky Bet)
(Odds in this article are correct at the time of writing. 18+ only, BeGambleAware.org)
Realistic: Manchester City
With Sergio Aguero departing Manchester City at the end of the season, Pep Guardiola’s men will need a striker. They will go into the season as defending Premier League champions and will need a striker on that level; a level Kane would fill perfectly.
Kane would offer City a massive goal return but in addition to that he has the technical and tactical prowess to drop deep and involve himself in the build-up phase of play (which he already does for Spurs). Kane would thrive under a coach as demanding and intelligent as Guardiola, making the very best team in the country even better.
This is the most realistic option for Kane, as Man City have the most pressing need for Kane of all the big sides, while also having the financial clout to pull off the transfer fee. And Kane’s quiet personality and more reasonable wage demands are more likely to fit in better with City than other options like the fiery, expensive Erling Haaland. Seeing the best striker in the division link with the best manager in the division would be thrilling for neutrals and terrifying for rivals.
The Sky Blues are reportedly already interested in signing Kane, and while Spurs chairman Daniel Levy won’t like the idea of selling him within the division, if the striker is determined to leave then there may not be any other choice. Especially, if as rumoured, he gave Kane a verbal agreement a year ago that he could leave in the summer of 2021.
Harry Kane has scored 40 goals in 62 Premier League games since the start of last season.
No player has scored more in that time. pic.twitter.com/lN3geJBA7K
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 16, 2021
Wildcard: Chelsea or Manchester United
The big Spanish sides may move for other players, and Man City might plump for Haaland instead. Are there any transfer options for Kane that are a little bit more surprising? Well, how about Manchester United and Chelsea?
United’s interest in Kane is long-standing, as is their need for more world-class talent as they try to close the gap with Man City. And Chelsea’s top-scorer in the Premier League this season is a midfielder with seven penalties (Jorginho).
Squawka Suggests: Chelsea
While Manchester United do need world-class talent, they mostly need creative players than a goalscorer. The renewal of Edinson Cavani for another season means they have a world-class no. 9 on the books already, but they still have big holes at right-wing and defensive midfield.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have a superbly balanced squad with creative talent (Hakim Ziyech!); the Blues have everything they could want… except for a goalscorer. Again: their top scorer in the league is Jorginho and his seven penalties. That is absolutely miserable, and adding Kane would be an enormous boost for the Blues as they look to genuinely challenge Man City for the Premier League.
Given the intense rivalry between Spurs and Chelsea, especially considering the Willian transfer saga, the likelihood of Kane even wanting to join the Blues let alone Levy sanctioning a sale there, make this move a colossal wildcard.