Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world. There’s no debate about that. He might not have the profile of someone like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, and he may not be a young up-and-comer like Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland, but he’s a player that could walk into any team in the world easily. Should he become available, most clubs with the budget to pay for him will almost certainly consider making a bid. That moment might come at the end of the current season. Tottenham Hotspur, his current club, look extremely unlikely to qualify for next season’s Champions League. If they miss out, Kane is expected to announce that he wants to move elsewhere.
Kane has been with Tottenham Hotspur for his whole professional career, and leaving isn’t an easy step for him to take, but it’s believed that he feels he’s running out of time. A player of his quality deserves to win major trophies. He’ll be 28 by the time next season begins, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely he’ll win major honours with Spurs. The question of age is an important one, though. Kane is likely to cost well in excess of £100m – perhaps £150m or more – if he’s even allowed to leave. That kind of investment is easier to make for a player who’s in their early 20s and may have ten good years in front of them. Kane has a maximum of five “prime” years left, and that fact might make buyers cautious.
Any big purchase is always a gamble for the team that makes it, as Manchester United found out when they paid over the odds for Alexis Sanchez and were left with a player who was a shadow of his former self. Kane is like a living metaphor for the “Striker Goes Wild” game that’s popular at so many online slots websites. It’s true that plenty of online slots players have won big money playing that game at Rose Slots for Ireland, but just as many players have lost big money in pursuit of its jackpot. Anyone who spends money on it knows they have a chance of winning big, but they also know there’s a chance they’ll win nothing at all. Signing Kane for a huge transfer fee would be just as big a gamble as any bet that’s ever been wagered on that online slots game and not every club, chairman, or coach is a gambler. Is he still young enough to make the gamble pay off, or will his age count against him? Let’s look at the likely candidates and see if we can come to any conclusions.
For all Pep Guardiola’s protestations that Manchester City won’t pay over the odds for a big-name striker this summer, there’s going to be a gaping hole in their team next season. Sergio Aguero, the club’s all-time top goalscorer, is leaving when the season comes to an end. The Argentine striker has struggled badly with injuries for the past two seasons, but Guardiola feels he’s irreplaceable. That might be true, but City will have to try to replace him anyway. Aguero will leave on a free transfer, which means City won’t receive a large lump sum to spend on a replacement, but the fact that he’s not there drawing a large salary anymore will free up some funds. City needs a new “main man” up front, and Kane might be available. That seems like a perfect marriage of convenience, but the smart money says that Erling Haaland is a more likely candidate to show up at the Etihad than Kane.
Manchester United legend Roy Keane believes that Kane wants to join Manchester United. That might be more of a “hunch” than a suggestion that Keane has insider knowledge, but it’s easy to see why United would be an attractive prospect for Kane. The club is moving in the right direction, and Kane would enjoy undisputed top billing up front with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Marcus Greenwood, and Paul Pogba supplying him with ammunition. An in-form Harry Kane could be what the Red Devils need to take that final step back to the promised land of championships and titles. They have the money and the motivation, but Spurs are likely to be reluctant to sell their prized asset to another team in England.
Barcelona is a team in transition. Their struggles in the Champions League for the past two season are evidence that the Catalan giants aren’t the side they once were, and the Messi era is almost at an end. Barcelona cannot and will not allow the rot to continue, though, and an enormous “statement” signing is exactly the sort of thing that Barcelona’s board usually sanctions as an answer to criticism about the club’s ambition or direction. Kane would be hailed as a new hero in Spain. The goals he’d inevitably score would ease the pain of Messi’s departure, and trophies would be guaranteed to follow. Very few players can turn down the lure of Barcelona. We have little reason to suspect that Kane would be any different.
If a player interests Barcelona, they’ll almost certainly also interest Real Madrid. Karim Benzema is thirty-three years old. The Frenchman has had a tremendous career in Madrid, but the club can no longer afford to rely on him as it goes in search of a return to its domestic league and Champions League-winning ways. While questions about Madrid’s finances are always asked, history tells us that the club always finds the money when it needs to spend it. However many trophies they finish this season with, they’re likely to want to strengthen their side ahead of next term. Like every other club we’ve mentioned in this article, they’re also said to be interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. Only one of the four can buy Haaland, though – assuming he’s allowed to leave Germany at all – so one of them is likely to turn to Kane as a secondary option. There’s just as much chance of him ending up in Madrid as there is of him ending up elsewhere.
For all the buzz about Kane’s future, though, it’s still possible he’ll stay with Spurs. He’s under contract, and Spurs aren’t obliged to sell him. The merits of keeping an unhappy player are dubious, but Kane is professional enough to get on with the task at hand if he’s forced to stay just as Lionel Messi has at Barcelona this season. £150m is a lot to spend – perhaps too much – on a striker coming to the end of his 20s, and If Haaland is available at around the same price, he’ll undoubtedly be seen as the better option. We think Manchester United stand the best chance of signing him, but ultimately, we won’t be surprised if he’s still wearing a Spurs shirt in 2022.