The obstacles facing Manchester United in their pursuit of Harry Kane

Tottenham’s place in England’s elite could be lost if frustrated Harry Kane departs… but £200m price tag, Daniel Levy’s notorious negotiating skills and the coronavirus fall-out mean Man United face a tough fight to get their man

  • Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham is up in the air after stating his ambitions
  • Kane recently admitted he could leave Tottenham as he wants to win trophies
  • Gary Neville claimed Kane deliberately ‘opened the door’ to a big-money move
  • Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for England skipper 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Tottenham have a massive battle on their hands to keep talisman Harry Kane at the club in the summer after leaving the door open to a move away.

Kane has been at Tottenham since joining the academy back in 2004 and he has gone on to enjoy a fine career in front of goal for the club, but his personal efforts haven’t reaped the rewards he has desperately been searching for.

At just 26 years old, Kane has already surged to 13th in the all-time Premier League top scorer charts with an incredible 136 goals for Tottenham, while becoming captain of the England national team.

However, what is most likely to define his career is his trophy haul. But ever since breaking into Tottenham’s first-team in the 2014-15 season, Kane has failed to win a single piece of silverware.

Time is running out at Tottenham and he is fully aware of that – recently hinting he could depart north London in his quest to win the biggest trophies within football. Now Manchester United are on alert for his signature but would have to pay an eye-watering £200million to get their man.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the obstacles United face in their hunt for Kane, including Daniel Levy’s negotiating skills, his hefty price tag, and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic…

Harry Kane’s Tottenham future is up in the air after stating his ambitions to win silverware

£200M COULD SCARE UNITED OFF

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has made it clear that the club would agree to let Kane leave this summer, but it would come at some price. 

Spurs value their main man – who has been injured since January with a hamstring problem – at £200million, which could prove too much for United to fathom.

Levy is ready to sanction a move because of financial worries and exasperation with England’s captain for going off-message during the coronavirus crisis. 

Tottenham, who were forced into a U-turn over using Government cash for furloughing non-playing staff, fear the financial repercussions of the current lockdown more than any other club because they are still paying for their new £1billion stadium. 

And this is set to make United’s quest to sign the Englishman extremely difficult. The Red Devils would have to splash out a world-record transfer fee to acquire Kane’s services – surpassing the £198m fee Paris Saint-Germain paid to Barcelona for Neymar.

While United are seeking a talisman up top to lead them to their former glory days, would the Glazer family be that desperate to pay £200m? It is a big risk, considering the crisis football finds itself in currently…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in pursuit of Kane but £200m price tag may prove a stumbling block

LEVY’S TIGHT NEGOTIATING SKILLS

The Tottenham chairman has become synonymous with running a tight ship in north London down the years – with plenty of clubs finding it difficult to negotiate with Levy when looking to sign one of his players.

Reflecting on United’s long but ultimately successful pursuit of Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he found negotiations with Levy extremely frustrating. 

‘That whole experience was more painful than my hip replacement,’ Ferguson wrote in his book ‘Leading’, after United finally sealed a transfer in the region of £30m.

And if United think Levy will act any differently this time around, then they are in for quite the shock.

Levy will definitely not buckle under the pressure from United, as he will look to get as much money as possible out of the Red Devils for Tottenham and England’s leading striker. 

The 26-year-old’s departure would massively hinder Spurs and their ambitions to stay among England’s elite. 

Levy is more aware than anyone else that selling Kane would leave Tottenham in a hugely precarious position, while massively strengthening that of a rival. 

Daniel Levy certainly won’t make it easy for United to sign the England captain this summer

THE FALL-OUT FROM THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

It’s all well and good talking about Tottenham’s price tag and whether United would be willing to match it, but the coronavirus pandemic could put a stop to all the chatter.

Football – not just the Premier League – faces a hugely uncertain time at the moment and the sporting landscape could change forever due to the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Some Premier League clubs have already put non-playing staff on furlough, while other clubs have seen their players take wage cuts to deal with the financial impact.

So it would take some doing for clubs to be able to spend hundreds of millions on signings amid the financial disaster facing them. 

And on Monday, Gary Neville claimed that any Premier League clubs who have furloughed staff or cut players’ wages must be subjected to a transfer ban this summer. 

Neville said on Sky Sports: ‘What I would say in the bigger picture, these transfer discussions, [Harry] Kane for £200m, [Jadon] Sancho for £100m, big-money signings completely undermines the discussions they are having with players.

‘If you are having a 30 per cent pay cut across the board and you are talking about spending a billion on players, you may have to put a transfer embargo in place. It is very difficult for players to see a transfer for £200m a few weeks later.

‘It doesn’t feel right to me. There is no smoke without fire, I would suggest the Premier League stop this and put a transfer embargo in place on all clubs that are trying to reduce their wages. Players are having their wools pulled over their eyes by clubs.’

It remains to be seen what step United take next in their pursuit of Kane, but £200m seems very unrealistic in the current climate, especially if they are eyeing a £100m move for fellow England international Sancho from Borussia Dortmund too.

The financial issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic could scupper Kane’s move to United

UNITED WOULD HAVE TO SPLASH THE CASH ON WAGES AS WELL… 

Kane signed a lucrative six-year deal at Tottenham in the summer of 2018, which was set to start a brave new dawn at the club with their shiny new 62,000-seater stadium close to being completed.

The striker put pen to paper on a six-year contract worth as much as £90m as Spurs successfully kept hold of their star man to make a statement of intent to their English rivals.

Kane’s basic salary had nearly doubled from his previous deal to 200,000 a week with bonuses taking it close to £300,000, if he could score the goals that start to deliver silverware for Spurs.

United would therefore have to at least match Tottenham’s wages and arguably much more if they want to prise Kane away from the capital. 

But with everything mentioned above – specifically regarding the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis – would United be able to justify paying him more than £300,000-per-week with the majority of clubs set to be in financial dire straits?

United would have to pay a hefty amount in wages to prise Kane away from north London

HOW WOULD UNITED FIT KANE IN?

Prior to the suspension of football due, United had enjoyed an 11-match unbeaten run and that was without Marcus Rashford – sidelined with a back injury – leading the line.  

So when football does eventually get back underway again, whenever that may be, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to have his main man to throw straight back into the action.

But if Kane did make the move to Manchester then Solskjaer would face a huge, yet very welcome, selection headache up top with a vast array of talent at his disposal.

Kane would slot straight into the starting line-up in the No 9 position, while fellow England international Rashford would most likely be played on the right wing with Anthony Martial on the other. 

Meanwhile, exciting youngster Mason Greenwood would still act as deputy up front.

With the likes of Bruno Fernandes, and perhaps even Paul Pogba if he doesn’t secure a move away from Old Trafford, feeding balls from midfield, United’s fans would be in for some treat.

Kane would add a completely new ruthless dimension to the United attack: he is a real out-and-out goalscorer and would absolutely thrive off speed merchants Rashford and Martial with the creativity of Fernandes and Co behind.

Premier League defences would be in for a nightmare time when they face United and a front three of that calibre really could take them to the next step in their pursuit of glory once again.

Solskjaer would have a huge, yet welcome, selection headache if Kane moved to Old Trafford

AND WOULD KANE JOIN A SIDE NOT IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?

The main reason Kane is flirting with a move elsewhere, away from his beloved Tottenham, is his ambitions to win the biggest trophies of them all before the opportunity evades him.

That means moving to one of England’s elite or a European giant that would help him realise his dreams straight away, a club a step above Tottenham on the football ladder at present. 

So would that put Kane off joining United? Tottenham are in a very dangerous position of missing out on Champions League football but the Red Devils aren’t in a hugely better situation themselves.

While United were on a strong run before the suspension came into place, their place in next season’s elite European competition isn’t guaranteed – with the club sitting fifth in the Premier League, three points behind Chelsea.

When football resumes they will be desperate to pip Chelsea to fourth while they already have one foot in the last-16 of the Europa League.

However, if their plans don’t materialise and another year in the Europa League awaits, then will Kane really want to make what many people would view as a sideways move?

United would be seen as a sideways step for Kane if they didn’t qualify for Champions League




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