There have been a number of reports recently claiming that United have cooled their interest in the gifted Norwegian. However, according to The Athletic, normally one of the more reliable sources of football gossip, ‘Haaland remains United’s prime target, but they too would regard Kane as an alternative if there was a way to offer players in part-exchange to bring the fee down.
‘News of Kane’s growing disillusionment at Tottenham has piqued serious interest at the two Manchester clubs. Both, along with Real Madrid and others, continue to explore the possibility of signing Haaland this summer, but only one club can do so, if indeed Dortmund can be persuaded to sell.’
The issue with Kane, as indeed it may be with Haaland this summer, is the price tag that is likely to be slapped on by the selling club. Figures of around £150 million have been mentioned for Haaland and even higher than that for Kane.
However, reporters Oliver Kay and Jack Pitt-Brooke believe that Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy may have to change his stance due to a number of factors.
‘Kane is running out of patience at Tottenham Hotspur and will push for a transfer this summer if they fail to secure Champions League qualification,’ they reveal.
‘Even a top-four finish would bring a certain level of regret and frustration for Kane.
‘The mood around the club — and around Kane in particular — has darkened considerably.’
What would happen if Kane asked for a transfer, with three years remaining on his six year contract?
Kay and Pitt-Brooke believe that ‘there is … a view that in a relatively depressed marketplace, £120 million might buy Spurs as much as £198 million would have bought them four years ago. Especially if Son signs a new contract, and Tottenham can use that Kane money to fix the defence.’
The mention above of United looking for a part-exchange deal could make their cash investment even lower. In this scenario, something around £100 million plus, say, Jesse Lingard, a player Spurs’ manager José Mourinho tried to sign two summers ago, could be enough. This is a figure that should be within United’s capabilities, even during the current crisis.
It is, of course, a case of many ifs, buts, ands and maybes. But the very idea of clubs battling over both Haaland and Kane during football’s worst ever financial crisis – not to mention Kylian Mbappe – is a tantalising prospect. Add to the mix Haaland’s notorious agent Mino Raiola, the notoriously tough negotiator Levy and the stubborn hierarchy of Borussia Dortmund, and you could start to feel sorry for United’s new director of football, John Murtough, regarding what lies ahead. It will certainly be a challenge.