Another summer, another few months of Harry Kane being linked with a move away from Tottenham Hotspur. Only this time if feels like he could actually leave.
Two years ago it seemed pretty close too, with Kane pushing for a move to Manchester City but that ship sailed when Pep Guardiola signed Erling Haaland last summer, immediately reaping the rewards as he helped fire them to a Treble, including a first Champions League.
Haaland won the Premier League Golden Boot at the first attempt too, finishing six goals clear of Kane who became the first player to hit 30+ goals in two seasons without winning the Golden Boot in either. Despite Tottenham’s struggles, missing out on European football, Kane managed to score 30 goals in the Premier League last season as he continued to chip away at Alan Shearer’s record in the division — Kane is now second overall in the Premier League with 213 goals, 47 behind Shearer.
Kane was scoring whether his teammates were up to scratch or not, testament to the quality of the striker. However, it was another season without a trophy for the Englishman who turns 30 this summer. And if he wants to have any sort of club trophy cabinet when he retires, it feels as though he has to move away from Tottenham. Which brings us to this summer and the latest rumours linking him with a move away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
So, what exactly is going on?
Who is interested in Harry Kane?
The teams being linked most with Kane this summer were Real Madrid and Manchester United, with the former needing a new striker. After 14 years, the Karim Benzema era at the Santiago Bernabeu is over, with the Frenchman making a big-money move over to the Saudi Pro League. Already this summer we’ve seen Real Madrid linked to a number of names including Kai Havertz, Roberto Firmino and Kane. Of the names, Kane is the most Benzema-esque, a goalscoring striker who is equally as important to the build-up and can drop deeper to allow wide forwards to cause problems. However, recent reports claim Real Madrid have dropped their interest in Kane, instead focussing on signing Kylian Mbappe next year with Joselu coming in as a stopgap.
Then there’s Man Utd, who also need a striker, as they have struggled for starring central man with Anthony Martial suffering once more due to injuries and Marcus Rashford better from a supporting role. A potential reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea has also been touted, with the Blues still searching for an actual striker.
PSG are also reportedly interested, but there appears to be a particular forerunner. According to Sky Sport Deutschland’s Florian Plettenberg, German champions Bayern Munich have submitted an improve second offer of £80m plus add-ons, having seen an initial offer of £60m plus add-ons rejected. On top of that, the Mirror claim that Kane has already agreed personal terms with Bayern after a meeting behind Tottenham’s backs, with just the official transfer fee to be sorted.
How Bayern Munich could line up with Harry Kane
Bayern are yet to replace Robert Lewandowski after his departure to Barcelona last summer, with Sadio Mane not really living up to expectations in the central role. So it could be a simple swap up front for Bayern should they get their man in Kane, with Mane going back onto the left-wing where he had so much joy with Liverpool.
However, there were times last season when Thomas Tuchel experimented with a two-man attack as part of a 3-4-1-2 or 3-1-4-2, with Thomas Müller joining Mane up front. In this system, you’d expect Kane to replace Müller in the more creative role, playing the balls for Mane to run onto and exploit the defences.
Or there’s the 3-4-2-1 which Tuchel used sparingly at Bayern but now that he has his chance to mould the squad, could bring back. It’s a formation he utilised at Chelsea and one in which Kane would be very comfortable playing, having done so a lot for Tottenham. In this formation, you’d expect Jamal Musiala and perhaps Serge Gnabry to play the roles of Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski, with very attacking wing-backs providing the width.
|Harry Kane transfer specials: To sign for before 3rd September 2023||Sky Bet|
|To stay at Tottenham||4/6|
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How much could Kane cost?
As we all know, Daniel Levy doesn’t like to be played for a fool and would rather not do business with opponents than lose a player for less than his valuation. According to reports, Levy wants as much as £200m for Kane, which would make him the most expensive player in the history of football, breaking the current record of Neymar (€222m converted to around £190m at the time of that transfer). It’s an increase of £50m from the reported fee Tottenham wanted in 2021 for Kane, which meant he didn’t get his move to Man City.
However, earlier this year The Times reported that Tottenham wanted £100m up front from any team looking to sign Kane, not allowing any deals with instalments — unless it was higher than £100m, of course. There’s precedent for that amount too. In 2019, Real Madrid paid Chelsea €100m for a 29-year-old Eden Hazard who had just one year left on his Stamford Bridge contract, being at the peak of his powers. But we all know how that transfer ended, not that Kane would be expected to follow in Hazard’s footsteps, but it does show the risk a team would take.
When does Kane’s contract run out?
Like Hazard in 2019, Kane has just one year left on his contract at Tottenham, meaning the north London club may have to sell this summer or risk losing the Englishman on a free transfer next year. Of course, Kane could always sign a new contract, but it’s a risky game of chicken especially if the striker does in fact want to push for a move. Kane signed his current contract in the summer of 2018, just before leading England to the World Cup semi-finals, a six-year deal as reward for helping Tottenham secure three consecutive top three finishes.
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What has Kane said?
Unfortunately for Tottenham, reports earlier this year claimed Kane had told his friends and those close to him that he wouldn’t sign a new deal with the club, amid links to Man Utd and Bayern Munich at the time. But at the same time, Kane revealed he had had talks with Levy about the future and how Tottenham could improve, speaking as though he had himself in mind.
“I think on the pitch you know I always give 100%. I always give my all for the team and for the club. I think off the pitch to have those conversations with the chairman and the staff here and try to give my opinion on some of the things that I think can help us just be more consistent and more successful in the culture that we try to set,” Kane told Sky Sports in May.
“I feel like from a culture point of view we’ve been too up and down over the last few years so in any great team, any winning team, you know they have a way of doing things and whoever comes in, or is added to that, they kind of fit in straight away and know the standards. Ours have been a little bit loose I feel like, and we need to find a way to create that environment that drives success.”
Of course, at the end of the season, Kane was asked about his future but he gave the standard footballers’ response, telling BT Sport: “No, no. That’s part and parcel of being a footballer – especially when you’re at the top of your game. I’ve just been focusing on this season and trying to help the team as much as possible.”
According to Fabrizio Romano, Kane would be open to a move to Bayern, hence the official bid.
What have Tottenham said?
Ange Postecoglou did not say anything about Kane in his initial interviews after taking the Tottenham job, but the Australian has now given his stance on the striker’s future; and it doesn’t make for great reading for Tottenham fans. The new Tottenham manager has admitted that he hasn’t received any assurances of Kane staying, but he does harbour hope of working alongside the Englishman.
“I haven’t had any assurances and I wouldn’t expect any. Harry is already part of the history of this club and I want him involved here,” he told reporters.
“My conversation with him will be about how we can make this club successful and that is what he wants as well. I’m trying to concentrate on the things that I know right now, and what I know right now is that Harry’s part of this squad. He’s looking forward to coming back to training, getting among the players back in here and we start working together.
“I doubt it will be defining in the manner people think. I want to introduce myself to Harry, give him my vision, get an understanding from him over what his vision is and try be successful.”
How could Tottenham replaced Kane?
But what if the worst (for Tottenham) does happen? What if Kane does leave? How can Postecoglou replace him?
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Speaking with supporters recently, Levy hit back at previous managers claiming they weren’t backed while also praising Postecoglou for the plan he has in mind.
“We made a conscious decision that we wanted a coach who would understand what we really wanted as a club, which was to play attacking football, to enable everyone to enjoy coming to a match and be entertained, and also someone who understood the importance of the academy,” Levy said.
“The notion that Tottenham haven’t backed certain managers is incorrect. We’re currently paying the price, perhaps, where some of the acquisitions have not turned out to be as we hoped.”
When Postecoglou was first announced, Tottenham were naturally linked with a couple of Celtic signings including Kyogo Furuhashi who led the line at Celtic Park as they scooped up the domestic treble. The Japanese forward scored 27 goals in 36 league games to help wrap up the league title, and is a player who could thrive as part of a more fluid front line with Tottenham. Kyogo has good movement, finishing and work-rate, all of which are key to the way Postecoglou plays, and doesn’t really step on the toes of the other forwards currently at Tottenham. Imagine a front three of Kyogo, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski.
There are other options too. Among those with Premier League experience, Ivan Toney is the dream signing, matching pretty closely to Kane in the support striker role and capable of dominating centre-backs. However, obviously, he wouldn’t be available until the New Year.
If Tottenham don’t want to wait that long, Porto’s Mehdi Taremi is another good Kane replacement in terms of playing style, happy to drop slightly deeper in order for his attacking teammates to flourish, being the man to link it all up. He is a year older than Kane, so this would be a short-term replacement, but it would give Postecoglou time to work on a longer-term target — perhaps Evan Ferguson.