And so begins the summer of the big-name transfer.
With the conclusion of the domestic European football season this past weekend, the transfer rumors will go into overdrive. The biggest and brightest stars on the continent will prepare for the next campaign, whether it's with their current club or off to greener pastures elsewhere.
Borussia Dortmund's sensational, free-scoring Erling Haaland, Paris Saint-Germain's world-beating Kylian Mbappe and Manchester United's mercurial Paul Pogba are regularly tossed around as names with potential new homes in their near future. Even legendary duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could be on the move in the months ahead, with the latter slightly more likely to change shirts than the one-club Argentine.
None of these players have done what Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane has done, though. They haven't flat-out said they want to leave and are ready for a new challenge. Kane did that last week, throwing his name in the ring for the hottest transfer saga of the summer, likely after the European Championships starting in June.
Let Harry provide you with some additional context on his decision that is sending shock waves through the footballing world:
If he has played his last match with Spurs, what an unbelievable career he's had with the North London club. The Tottenham striker scored 23 goals and notched 14 assists this season, which topped both categories in the Premier League.
His 166 goals in white put him behind only Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) and Thierry Henry (Arsenal) for the most goals scored for one club in Premier League history. He's now scored 15-plus league goals in the last seven seasons, and at only 27, he isn't showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy's asking price—reported to be in the region of $280 million—seems, well, fair for the England captain. The real question, then, is who is going to pay up? Read on to find out where Kane's future lies, ranked from the least likely destination to most likely.
5. Real Madrid
Well, for starters, it wouldn't be much of a wardrobe change, as Kane already does quite well in the white kits of Tottenham and England. Why not one more in the form of Los Blancos?
Madrid is hot on the trail of a new forward option, with Karim Benzema in the twilight of his career at the ripe old age of 33. The Spanish side has been linked with both Haaland and Mbappe in recent months, but would Real look to Kane now that he's officially on the market and both Dortmund and PSG are in no rush to sell their young superstars?
This move would make Levy the happiest, as getting Kane out of the Premier League and not selling to a rival is always preferred. Unfortunately, Kane would prefer to stay in the Premier League, and he has quite a bit of sway in this process. Count this one as unlikely to happen.
Chelsea has the perfect combination of things to make a move like this happen: the money, the ambition and the wild card of an owner who would jump at the chance to steal a rival's best player to better his own rapidly improving squad.
Adding Kane could make Chelsea the immediate rivals to Man City for next season's title. They have a number of attacking pieces already, but Kane would be the point to that spear and provide head coach Thomas Tuchel with a myriad options up front. Look out.
Unfortunately for owner Roman Abramovich, Tuchel and Blues fans everywhere who would love to see Kane at Stamford Bridge, the chances of Levy selling to a London rival are slim to none. It just isn't in the cards.
Chelsea would have to blow all other offers out of the water from a cash perspective and go as far as including a number of players in the deal to lessen the blow. Still, that doesn't seem like the best option for Spurs, no matter how you spin it.
Liverpool's fantastic front three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have had an excellent run together for four years since forming up in 2017. They have scored over 200 goals between them in that time, which is outstanding, and they were integral in bringing the Premier League trophy to Merseyside for the first time last season.
Some feel it's time to break up the trio and provide the rest of the league with a different headache to deal with on a weekly basis. Could Kane be the man to do that?
Firmino, who normally plays more centrally than Salah and Mane, would be the most likely to depart, with Mane second. That leaves Salah, a player any club would want to keep hold of, as an option to pair with Kane.
Well, that'd be quite a combo.
Between the pair of them, they've been in the top five league scorers every season since 2014/15, leading the pack for six of those seven years.
Liverpool has the financial muscle to get the deal done and could use the goodwill from its supporters after the botched Super League experiment (though I suppose every club on this list could say the same). However, it remains less likely that a drastic move like this will be happening at Anfield this summer, particularly with more aggressive clubs in play.
2. Manchester United
It wouldn't be a transfer involving top British talent if Manchester United wasn't involved. The Red Devils have had their eye on Harry Kane for quite a few seasons, and this summer it could finally come to fruition after the striker declared his desire to move on.
Looking at United's roster, adding Kane seems—on paper, anyway—a bit of a perplexing move.
Edinson Cavani just re-upped with the club for another season. Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood are high on the team list for attacking minutes. Anthony Martial may be on the way out but still is a top-notch forward on his day. Then you throw in the burgeoning presence of youngsters Anthony Elanga and Shola Shoretire. Is there enough room for Harry Kane in all of this?
Short answer: yes, of course there is. Longer answer: Kane is the best forward in the Premier League, and you make room for him. He'd fit in nicely, with Cavani acting as his like-for-like backup. The linkup play with Bruno Fernandes would yield goals, and Kane's chance-creating abilities would benefit Greenwood and Rashford.
This move has legs and it's clear that the Red Devils will have to battle with a number of clubs to make it happen, but it may be another team close to home that pips Man Utd to his signature.
1. Manchester City
It would make the most sense for Harry Kane to end up at Manchester City this summer, for many reasons.
Pep Guardiola, City's perfectly bearded manager, has made it clear that he wants a 30-goal player in his team. Sergio Aguero, the player who has held that moniker (or thereabouts) for the Citizens for the last decade is on his way to Barcelona. Oh, and City has cash in spades to make the deal happen.
A move for Haaland may be more enticing given his age (somehow still only 20) and potential within an already stacked squad, but Kane is a proven commodity in the Premier League and would slot right in with little fuss.
It's not unreasonable to think that a City team with Kane could break the club's own league record of 106 goals scored in a single season. Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is licking his chops right now thinking about Harry playing in front of him.
When it comes down to it, this is the move for Kane and one that will satisfy all parties involved. Unless, of course, you are associated with any of the other clubs on this list.
Shane Evans manages B/R Football content within the Bleacher Report app. For more, follow him on Twitter at @shanevans.