Paul Merson believes that Manchester United should have pushed harder for Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur, as Spurs and Bayern Munich remain in negotiations for the English forward.

In Merson’s blog on Sky Sports before the start of the season, the former Arsenal midfielder questioned why United hasn’t pushed harder for Kane.

“I’m still shocked here today and I don’t know why Manchester United didn’t buy him,” Merson said. “If they had, they would have got a good four or five years out of him and they would have won the Premier League.”

Instead, United pivoted and moved for Atalanta forward Rasmus Hojlund with a fee of £64 million plus a further £8 million in add-ons being enough to sign the Danish forward.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Shakhtar Donetsk - Pre-Season Friendly
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Hojlund is a risk

As mentioned, the signing of Hojlund is certainly a risk that Erik ten Hag will be hoping can bear fruit in years to come. Merson, however, believes the forward will be under the microscope from the start at Old Trafford.

“If this lad doesn’t produce, he will be under enough pressure as it is,” Merson believes.

The striker is only 20 years old but because of the minor injury he is dealing with, the forward may well be eased into the set-up under Erik ten Hag. This could be ideal for the forward’s development and adaptation to the league.

Could United have signed Harry Kane

Merson’s bewilderment about United not pushing harder for Harry Kane may well be fair, but United were never in a position to strike a deal with Daniel Levy’s Tottenham.

The notoriously tough negotiator in Levy, wouldn’t have sold Kane to United for anything less than £150 million. This would have been United’s whole summer budget on one player when we needed four or five minimum.

It was never feasible for United to land Kane, despite the guarantees of goals he brings. If Hojlund doesn’t work out at United, which is a possibility, it would still be plausible for United to recoup some of the fee that they paid for him, Kane, however, won’t because of his age.

Kane, despite being a superb striker, may well only have another 3-4 years at the top level, Hojlund could be at that level for the next decade. For Erik ten Hag’s side, I think it was a risk worth taking to sign the Boyhood United fan.