Manchester United are interested in a mega summer swoop for Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
Erik ten Hag has put a new No 9 at the top of his summer recruitment plans and England captain Kane is among the club’s preferred options. Kane’s future is once again gearing up to become one of the transfer sagas of the summer.
Sportsmail has learned United chiefs have already started exploring the particulars attached to a potential move for Kane at the end of the season. Sources have indicated that Kane is open to joining United, news that will encourage Old Trafford chiefs.
The 29-year-old enters the final 12 months of his contract at the end of the season. Tottenham would like to extend Kane’s current deal, but there is negativity about their chances of persuading the striker to sign fresh terms.
How Tottenham finish the season, particularly whether they qualify for the Champions League, will be a factor in whether the north London club tempt their talismanic striker to re-commit.
That leaves chairman Daniel Levy with the prospect of finally considering offers for the club’s prized asset or risk losing him for nothing next year. Nevertheless, Spurs are set to place a minimum £85 million price tag on Kane.
That figure is likely to increase for a rival Premier League side given Levy’s reluctance to sell Kane to a domestic rival. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have both been credited with a serious interest in Kane in recent weeks.
Intriguingly, Bayern held a serious interest in Kane ahead of this season and enquired about his availability but eventually decided to pull out of a move due to the spiralling costs.
However, Kane has set his sights on breaking the Premier League goalscoring record and is understood to prefer staying in England. The striker has scored 198 top-flight goals, 62 adrift of Alan Shearer’s all-time record during the Premier League era.
United know they would be getting a proven Premier League striker with Kane. But he turns 30 before the start of next season and any sell-on value would be a fraction of the initial outlay.
However, United have shown in the past that they are prepared to spend huge sums on players who are considered the finished article. United splashed £70million on Casemiro last summer, handing the 30-year-old a five-year deal worth £350,000-per-week.
Last season they signed 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, and in 2012 they signed a 29-year-old Robin van Persie from Arsenal – who went onto play a key role in United regaining the title.
But Kane isn’t the only player on United’s radar; they are also interested in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, 24, and Red Bull Salzburg forward Benjamin Sesko, who is just 19 – both of which would appear to represent a more credible long-term investment.
It’s a choice United will deliberate over; whether to buy a younger striker who would present the club with more longevity and potential sell-on value; or go for Kane, who provides a virtual guarantee of goals but is entering his 30s.
Ten Hag’s decision to sign Wout Weghorst on loan until the end of the season indicates an acceptance that the United boss feels his team lack a genuine goalscoring target man, a role Kane has mastered.
There is no obligation in United’s agreement with Burnley to buy Weghorst in the summer, leaving the club free to sign a new striker. Kane has made no secret of his desire to compete for major trophies, infamously pushing to join Manchester City in the summer of 2021.
The upward trajectory of United under Ten Hag suggests he will have a good chance of finally ending his trophy drought at Old Trafford.
Tottenham are currently in a period of transition under Antonio Conte, whose future at the club is uncertain with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.