Analysing Harry Kane's Transfer Options—Is It Time to Leave Tottenham?

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportMarch 11, 2020

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Jose Mourinho manager / head coach of Tottenham Hotspur embraces Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on December 15, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Over the coming months, we will discover whether loyalty to the badge is enough to keep Harry Kane at Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs are out of the Champions League and the FA Cup. They are struggling in eighth in the Premier League and wondering if they will secure enough points to qualify for European football for next season. For most elite strikers, this would seem like a good time to find a new club.

Kane has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since New Year's Day, but he is stepping up his recovery and hoping to save their season. But when this campaign ends, he has a big decision to make over what happens next.

Can he switch his mindset from challenging for the Premier League title and Champions League crown to competing for fifth-place in the Premier League?

And is that really enough for a player considered to be one of the best strikers on the planet?

He has always been true to Tottenham, sticking with them when he could have looked to move. There has been interest in him, particularly from the two Manchester clubs, but Kane always kept his focus on taking Tottenham to the top instead.

That could now change, with several sources suggesting to Bleacher Report that the England international is getting itchy feet for the first time. 

A failure to qualify for next season's Champions League is going to be a major factor that could agitate Kane into talks with the club over his future.

"Kane loves the club, but he doesn't want to be a club hero that looks back on his career one day and has no trophies to show for it," explained one insider.

His issue is this: Kane signed a big-money, six-year contract in 2018, and Daniel Levy would not listen to any offer for the player unless they were happy to negotiate in advance of £150 million.

Which teams could open up as a realistic landing spot for Kane at that price?

In England, there are two options: Manchester United and Manchester City.

United have long admired the player, but there are a couple of obstacles in the way before anything can get going. First, they are focusing on Jadon Sancho as their top transfer target—a deal that could set them back in advance of £100 million. Also, they would not pursue the player until it became clear Spurs were open to selling him. At the moment, they have had no sign that would be the case.

As for City, the possibility is there. Sources close to the situation say the club were interested in speaking to Kane two years ago before he signed a new contract. He still has plenty of admirers at the club, including Pep Guardiola.

However, the fact Sergio Aguero remains would be an issue with any pursuit of Kane this summer. While City are on the lookout for options to lead the line once the Argentinian is ready to move on, there is a determination not to make him feel pushed out. 

Of course, with both these clubs, there is also a question mark over whether they will be able to offer Champions League football anyway.

Chelsea would love to sign him too—and they are on the hunt for a striker—but that transfer from a London rival club is simply a non-starter.

So how about a move to La Liga?

Real Madrid are often linked but will only turn to Kane if they see no sign of Kylian Mbappe joining from Paris Saint-Germain, sources in Spain say.

That could open the door to Barcelona, who also have an eye on Kane and are looking to recruit a replacement for Luis Suarez this summer. 

The problem in both cases, according to insiders, is that Kane is torn over whether a move abroad would work for him—personally or professionally. He would, of course, have to seriously consider offers from any European giant—Juventus are being linked at the moment—but it is thought he would prefer to remain in the Premier League.

There is another angle to all of this, of course.

His old Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is expected to return to management this year, and when he does, Kane will undoubtedly be linked with joining him again. It's definitely a situation worth watching closely.

Spurs sources insist the club are comfortable with their current situation.

The player earns a basic wage of £200,000-a-week, and add-ons can take that towards the region of £300,000-a-week. It's a good deal.

On the B/R Football Ranks podcast this week, I suggested they might have to make his terms even more special if he is to stick with them, but other sources have since told me that would not change much.

The player is not motivated by cash. As one source told me: "What difference is that going to make to him at this stage?" It's a fair point.

Kane's last action in a Spurs shirt was to score a disallowed goal against Southampton—his next action will be to return to the side and wrestle Wolves, Sheffield United and Manchester United for fifth-place in the Premier League.

He is not a man likely to cause a scene publicly over what he wants to do next, but Kane is having to consider his future for the first time.

His problem is that even if he wants to leave, it just might not be possible.

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