Exclusive: Harry Kane’s future hinges on Spurs, Man Utd and a missed penalty

Ben Jacobs
Ben Jacobs
  • Updated: 27 Jan 2023 07:39 GMT
  • 5 min read
Harry Kane, England, World Cup 2022
© ProShots

Harry Kane has been subject to renewed transfer links to Manchester United from Tottenham, and the situation is far from clear cut, as football transfers expert Ben Jacobs writes...

I've said many times on Harry Kane dating back to the summer and at the beginning of this window that Spurs are calm about the situation and that's because Harry Kane's preference is to extend Tottenham, but timing is everything.

Article continues under the video

And obviously the Harry Kane now versus the Harry Kane at the end of the season, or the Harry Kane now versus the Harry Kane at the end of the season, could be very different.

MORE: Spurs transfer hijack paves way for Kane to Man Utd

If the manager changes and if they don't have Champions League football at his age, and with the valuation that spurs can get, there still is a consideration to be had.

If he scores the goals that get Spurs into the top four, there won't even be a consideration about going anywhere else.

The only consideration for Kane is if Tottenham have upheaval, the project's not moving in the right direction, the manager changes and they don’t have Champions League football. If that’s the case and come the end of the season a suitor comes with a healthy offer, the Tottenham board will also have a decision to make as to what's right for the football club and right for Harry Kane, but all of that is speculative.

MORE: Man Utd star Antony 'becoming like Sancho' says Arsenal legend

Kane's City fallout a thing of the past

The key point to reiterate here is that it’s not new that Harry Kane has suddenly intimated that his preference is to extend at Spurs. He's been saying that to Tottenham for months and this is a very different Harry Kane to when we had the whole fallout over the Manchester City offer.

And the reason why Kane was a bit miffed was because that transfer was never even discussed. It was roundly dismissed by the football club to the point where Daniel Levy put a valuation on Kane to Manchester City of something close to £200 million and that obviously warded off any kind of approach.

And I think Harry Kane felt at the time, why was it not at least discussed or taken seriously? Because his head was slightly turned.

Harry Kane
© ProShots - Harry Kane

It's not true that he refused to train, contrary to some reports. He was very professional about the situation, but I think that he just felt the club owed him a bit more in terms of loyalty to at least discuss it collectively and collaboratively rather than put a release-clause style price on that forced no progression from Manchester City at that point.

But since then things have changed. He's brought into the project. He likes playing under Antonio Conte, he's settled at Spurs, which is still ultimately his club.

Tottenham are still quite confident about the situation because they know that they've got that buy in from Kane.

Kane missed a key penalty against France
© ProShots - Kane missed a key penalty against France

Returning from the World Cup and missing a penalty against club-mate Hugo Lloris might in a perverse way, even though it sounds a very tangential point, benefit Tottenham because the way the club rallied around him, from what I understand, only further underlines his feelings - a bit like Bukayo Saka at Arsenal when he got that horrible racial abuse after the Euros.

It only further underlines to Kane why he likes this club and this fan base and this culture.

Add all of that up and Spurs are in the box seat. Kane's position hasn't changed.

Is Harry Kane to Man Utd happening?

Then when we look at other suitors. The Bayern Munich links I would say are more exploratory or wishful, but my understanding has always been that Kane doesn't really want to go and play in the Bundesliga, even if that virtually guarantees him a domestic trophy or two.

And then you start to look, for example, at Manchester United who have been rumoured. I know that some are quoting £85m, but I think if Kane's to go, it will be a shade closer to £100m.

Manchester United, despite these links, can't guarantee that type of money because they would be speaking on behalf of, in all likelihood, an ownership group that are not even in. So to say that they're somehow confident of spending that amount of money and getting this type of player Is really premature.

And then if you look at the Glazers still being in charge, if that was the eventuality, they've not wanted to spend even £40m in the January window.

Kane v Man Utd
© ProShots - Kane v Man Utd

Are they going to drop somewhere close to £100m on Kane if they are still the incumbent, especially if they realised that the takeover is getting closer again? I think that's relatively unlikely.

We have to be careful not be two premature with Kane because until he becomes on the market and tells his current club that his preference is to leave. Everything becomes speculation and right now he's doing the opposite.

Kane is telling his current club that his number one scenario is to stay at Tottenham Hotspur football club, which means that the speculation, the valuations, it's all noise at this point.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.