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“He would’ve built our attack” — The German club Harry Kane nearly joined in 2012

By Ben Green

Published: 10:17, 7 July 2021

Harry Kane came agonisingly close to joining Union Berlin — then in 2. Bundesliga — in 2012, claims the club’s former head of football Nico Schafer. 

Before rising to meteoric prominence at Tottenham Hotspur, for whom he has been their top goalscorer across the past seven seasons, collecting three Premier League Golden Boots in that time and moving second behind Jimmy Greaves as the club’s all-time leading marksman, Kane’s career was in flux.

He had endured a typical bird-of-passage progression in north London as a youngster, earning his corn and honing his craft across multiple loan spells, including Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester, and during that time he even came close to dipping his toes in German football.

“Kane would’ve built our attack together with Simon Terodde in the 2. Bundesliga,” Schafer said to SportBild.

“His strength in the air was noticeable. And he was a striker who went down very often. He would have been a very good fit for Union.

“Despite Union’s special relationship with English football, Kane wanted to stay in England.”

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Kane’s current situation at Spurs

It’s been no secret that Kane has got itchy feet in north London and is eyeing up a potential summer exit after his come-and-get-me plea during an interview on the golf course with Gary Neville, in which he emphasised: “I want to be playing in the biggest games, the biggest moments.

“This season I’m sitting there watching the Champions League and watching the English teams doing amazing, and those are the games I want to be involved in.

“So, I’m definitely in a moment in my career where I have to reflect and see where I’m at, and have a good, honest conversation with the chairman [Daniel Levy].

“I hope we can have that conversation and I’m sure he’ll want to set out a plan, but ultimately it’s going to be down to me and how I feel, and what’s going to be the best for me in my career.”

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Among those touted as a possible destination for Kane after the conclusion of Euro 2020 are Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, while recently-appointed sporting director Fabio Paratici has stressed the importance of retaining the services of “one of the best strikers in the world”.

Kane has also gone on the record recently to praise the club’s appointment of former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo, though he did reveal he is yet to speak with Tottenham’s new boss and will only hold talks after this summer’s European Championship has finished.

Kane said: “Whenever a new manager comes in, I guess there’s a level of excitement around the club. Obviously, I’ve not been there and not had any contact with him.

“I’m away with England now and my full focus is on here. Hopefully, we’ve got a week left.

“He’s a great manager and did a great job at Wolves and got them playing a really good way.

“Let’s get back and I’m sure we’ll be in contact after the tournament.”

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