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Harry Kane wanted Manchester United move this summer

by Darragh Fox
Harry Kane

Harry Kane “wanted to sign” for Manchester United this summer, and would even have been willing to wait until next year to join the club, according to a revealing report by The Daily Mail. 

Chris Wheeler indicates the former Tottenham Hotspur captain was as keen on the move to Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag was on bringing him there, with only Daniel Levy standing in the way of a potential deal between the two parties.

“A match made in heaven,” Wheeler contends, if not for the chief executive at Spurs.

Wheeler reveals Levy explicitly told Old Trafford officials he “wouldn’t sell Tottenham’s crown jewel to a Premier League rival” and, given his long-standing history of uncompromising negotiation, United believed him.

They felt Levy may “string them along throughout the summer” without ever actually committing to a deal, thus scuppering their long-standing interest in Kane, as well as removing any chance of effectively changing tac towards other targets so late in the window.

Therefore, the decision was made early on to move on from the England captain as an option, despite Kane’s apparent preference for a move to United. The last-minute negotiations for Casemiro and Antony the summer prior – which saw United overpay for both players such was their desperation to complete the deals – were likely influential in driving this decision.

Mason Mount and Andre Onana had been identified as the first-choice targets for the central midfield and goalkeeping positions – two of the three priorities this summer, alongside a centre-forward – and United were keen to wrap up deals for both early in the window.

The prospect of the massive financial package required to sign Kane would have made the pursuit of Mount and Onana much more difficult from a Financial Fair Play perspective. The 30-year old’s wage packet at Bayern Munich is thought to be £500,000 a week, including a signing-on fee and bonuses – a region described as the “Cristiano Ronaldo money.”

Wheeler reveals that a prospective double swoop for Kane and Brighton forward, Evan Ferguson, had been “considered” by United, but the need for recruits elsewhere ended this idea. The club quickly settled on Rasmus Hojlund as their alternative target, initially believing they would be able to strike a far cheaper deal for the stiker than the one they ended up paying.

Wheeler describes the eventual transfer fee for Hojlund (£72 million) as “uncomfortably close” to the one Bayern signed Kane for (£86 million). Sources at Old Trafford, who remain extremely sceptical as to whether Levy would have charged them the same price he ended up accepting from Bayern, refute this comparison.

What appears more certain, however, is that Kane’s decisions this summer were linked to United’s movements in the market. In fact, Wheeler believes Kane’s desire to join the Red Devils was so strong that he would have been “willing to see out the remaining year of his contract at Spurs so he could join United next summer.”

Once it was confirmed publicly that United were signing Rasmus Hojlund, however, Kane quickly made a move to Bavaria his immediate priority. The England captain signed for Bayern Munich exactly a week after the Hojlund deal was announced by United. Sources at the Manchester club insist there are “no regrets” over this decision.

And while Hojlund has shown a lot of early promise despite his tender age, it feels like there will be more than one United official watching Kane warm up tomorrow night at Old Trafford with a sense of rueful regret he’s not doing so every week.

It would be truly stereotypical of post-Ferguson United to have chosen to not overpay for a 30-year old superstar the only time it would have been the right decision.

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