Home » The reasons why Manchester United did not pursue Harry Kane

The reasons why Manchester United did not pursue Harry Kane

by Darragh Fox

Manchester United chose not to pursue Harry Kane primarily due to concerns surrounding his exorbitant wage demands, while some Old Trafford officials also felt the English striker was incompatible with the current squad.

Andy Mitten, in The Athletic’s podcast, reveals staff “at the club feel Harry Kane’s game has changed”, referencing his increased tendency to “drop deeper” as a potential hindrance to United’s style of play.

Mitten goes on, however, to say this viewpoint received “pushback” from others at Old Trafford who simply told doubters to “look at his goalscoring record.”

The reporter contends Erik ten Hag is a “huge admirer” of the England captain, suggesting doubts about Kane’s ability to adapt to this United team came from other sources at Old Trafford.

Laurie Whitwell believes United’s hesitancy to pursue Kane boiled down to simple economics.

It was decided early on in the summer to move on from the Spurs striker, once the financial realities of a transfer involving Daniel Levy, as well as Kane’s wage demands, became apparent. This realisation, Whitwell asserts, is primarily why “United went for Højlund over Kane.”

Spurs have reportedly offered their talismanic striker a contract worth in the region of £400,000 a week; even more if the signing-on bonus is included.

Whitwell alliteratively says United are “keen to keep an even keel” when it comes to wages, adopting a policy of incentive-based contracts for new recruits. The club are desperate to avoid the expensive lessons of the past, with over-priced, over-rated, over-the-hill players outstaying their welcome at Old Trafford on oversized contracts.

Which is why, Whitwell states, Højlund offers a level of “inherent value” Kane cannot.

Though unconfirmed officially, the Danish striker’s new wage packet is believed to be around the £80,000 mark. Over the course of a 5 year deal, including his transfer fee with add-ons achieved, Højlund’s total outlay will set United back just under £93 million.

Kane, on a comparable length of contract, at a rate similar to the one offered by Spurs, with the same transfer fee as Højlund (despite the reality requiring a much higher figure) would cost United £176 million. For a player who would be 35 as this contract nears an end. And this is the wildy conservative total for how much United would have to pay to secure Kane’s services, with the striker having only a year remaining on his current deal at Spurs.

Whether it be potential issues relating to finance, as suggested by Whitwell, or compatability, as referenced by Mitten, United chose not to engage in a pursuit of Kane, instead moving decisively and determinedly for Højlund.

With The Athletic indicating Ten Hag was “fully behind” this decision and reports suggesting the Dutchman considers Højlund the “perfect fit” in his system, United fans should be content their their manager has acquired his man in a position of absolute necessity.

By the sounds of it, United’s finance department may be equally content.

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