When Manchester United last knocked on Tottenham’s door, back in 2018, they wanted to sign Toby Alderweireld. Spurs, however, had no intention of letting the Belgium international leave north London easily – demanding Anthony Martial in return. It’s not unfeasible that, should United come calling for Harry Kane this summer, the France international will be requested in return.
Manchester United have insisted they won’t be entering the race for Kane, with Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish instead their priorities.
However, the England international appeals. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a confirmed admirer, while Ed Woodward is also of the belief the 26-year-old would be an Old Trafford hit.
United privately scoffed when Tottenham slapped a £200million price tag on their captain last week.
They feel nobody will be paying that anytime soon and, at the moment, they’re not interested in snapping him up.
However, things would change if they were to get more encouragement. Should they get wind that Kane is on the market, and wants to join, don’t expect United to hold back.
Tottenham would loath to lose their star asset to such a fierce rival.
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Their relationship with United is certainly a tricky one. Not since Dimitar Berbatov in 2008 has Spurs chairman Daniel Levy allowed a player to leave for Old Trafford.
United wanted Luka Modric in 2012, only for the Croatia international to be sold to Real Madrid instead.
It was a similar story 12 months later with Gareth Bale.
United actually offered more money than Real Madrid for the Wales international, with Ed Woodward determined to make a marquee signing for David Moyes.
But Tottenham refused to let him go, instead offloading the veteran to the La Liga giants for a reduced, albeit world-record fee instead.
United wanted Eric Dier in 2017 – but had to settle for Nemanja Matic after Tottenham refusing to let the versatile star depart.
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And then came their pursuit of Alderweireld.
Tottenham chief Levy was open to letting the Belgian go but only if he received Martial in return.
The Frenchman had been on Tottenham’s radar before his move to United in 2015 and Mauricio Pochettino was convinced he could turn the forward into one of the best in world football.
In the end, that didn’t happen.
But should United come calling for Kane, it’s certainly not unfeasible that Tottenham would ask for Martial in return.
He did well before the coronavirus crisis brought football to a crashing halt, scoring four goals from six matches.
But he still continues to frustrate at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer knows it. While he’s often spoken of Martial’s quality, he’s also expressed frustrations over his lack of ruthless instincts.
While he’s undeniably talented, Kane is in a different bracket.
But Tottenham know he’s a diamond in the rough, one that if polished could become one of the best strikers in world football.
United may not want to lose Martial and, certainly, many fans would prefer for him to stay and try and realise his potential.
But Tottenham chief Levy is a specific and stubborn man and it may be a case of Martial or nothing. How much United would then want Kane is something we’d have to wait and see to find out.
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