With Tottenham’s Europa Conference League qualifiers announced this week as the winner of Larne and Pacos de Ferreira, Harry Kane’s wilting desire to stay at the club is understandable.
BBC Sport reported on Monday that Kane refused to turn up to training, and his future is the subject of plenty of debate.
Kane’s priority appears to be to force a move to Manchester City.
From Manchester United’s perspective, this is a transfer which holds far more fear than the prospect of Jack Grealish signing for the noisy neighbors.
Tottenham appear to have no intention of making it easy, with The Athletic reporting Daniel Levy is determined not to sell.
Hold out one more year
Manchester United, normally, would be taking a big interest in Harry Kane. A transfer could have a Robin van Persie effect, tipping the scales towards the red side of Manchester winning the Premier League.
Where United are concerned, the timing is all off. Kane’s unhappiness at Tottenham was reported ahead of the Euros, and United chose a different route.
A combined £100 million was spent on Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, strengthening both attack and defence, using the funds available very wisely.
Crucially, United managed to extend Edinson Cavani’s contract by a further 12 months, effectively deferring the issue of who plays up front to 2022.
Next summer United will focus on signing a striker. That is when the stars could align to sign Harry Kane, if he remains a Tottenham player.
Kane will then have just two years left on his contract – the same Sancho had this summer – and Tottenham may be more amenable to selling their unsettled striker.
Kane could join a club set up for him to thrive, with England teammates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho in attack, led by Harry Maguire at the back.
A fee would still set United back £100 million or more, as it would City this summer.
Kane has a choice. He can either go all out to try and force his move to City this summer, or hold out until 2022, when he will have at least one more option, to potentially join United.
Reasons not to panic if City sign Kane
As mentioned earlier, the prospect of Harry Kane joining Manchester City is not a pleasant one for Manchester United.
But there is no reason to panic. United are content with forward options this season and have strengthen other areas of the team, and may also add to the midfield and defence.
Kane has a history of ankle injuries, and at 28, there is a risk he only has two or three seasons left as a top performer. United signed Van Persie at 29, and while he had a huge major impact, he had a limited shelf life left as a big player.
United will still be looking for a striker in 2022, and can explore alternatives. One of who could be Erling Haaland.
Haaland is 21 and has the next decade at the top level to look forward to. Expect United to find a longer term solution than Kane if he is not available, whether that is Haaland or not.
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