Ever since Tottenham reportedly refused to sell Gareth Bale to Manchester United in 2013 despite receiving a higher bid, it became clear that signing one of the North London club’s top stars in future would be a near impossible task.
Links have persisted to Harry Kane for years, and for the most-part, signing the England striker has seemed highly unrealistic especially for Premier League clubs.
Kane is a Tottenham fan, and for several seasons, at least during the Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho eras, Spurs have been as competitive – if not more so – than United.
Over the last couple of years the natural order has been restored somewhat, with United looking set to finish above Spurs for the second successive season.
Last season United finished third and Spurs sixth, and this season that gap is being extended, with United second and Spurs currently in seventh.
A report from The Independent this week claims Kane is interested in a move to United.
Unlike the links circa 2016 to 2019, there is footballing reason to tempt him, and not just the fact United are a bigger club than Tottenham.
Kane saw first hand the progress United are making, with the Red Devils winning 3-1 over his side at the weekend.
It was a performance in which Kane’s international teammates starred, with Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood all likely to play key roles for the Three Lions over the next few years.
Kane will surely see the benefits of joining them at United, in terms of both a team building opportunity to make England better, to the simple camaraderie of joining players he knows well already.
There is a clear opening for him at United too. The club’s number nine, Anthony Martial, scored just seven goals this season.
Kane has 29 goals in all competitions, and a further 16 assists. He has developed his game in a way which helps make those around him better.
The problem for him is that beyond staying to set individual records, there is little left for him at Spurs. They may not even qualify for next season’s Europa League.
Kane would have to push for a move for it to come off. And there will be competition.
The Independent also report Manchester City would appeal to Kane, while there is interest from Paris Saint-Germain, led by Kane’s former boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will also be extremely difficult to work around.
The Athletic report Levy does not wish to sell to another English club under any circumstances. However, The Independent‘s report states Kane’s preference would be to join another Premier League side, as opposed to PSG.
United are at least in the mix. Kane would instantly improve United and has enjoyed his first injury free season this year for three seasons, and is still only 27.
His reported interest in a move to United is the first step. In previous years a move always seemed unlikely. This summer it at least feels like it may be possible, and that speaks to United’s progress, and Tottenham’s lack of it.