Opinion: Could Manchester United return for Harry Kane?

Manchester United need a striker. Marcus Rashford may have just had his most prolific season in a Red shirt, registering 30 goals and eleven assists in all competitions, but the 25-year-old academy graduate is a winger, not an out-and-out number nine. Bruno Fernandes led the Premier League in chances created last year, but could also imagine how many more assists he’d have–not to mention how many more goals United might have scored–if United had a clinical striker leading the line last season? On second thought, I don’t want to imagine it; it’ll only make me mad.

As per usual, United have been linked with a number of top strikers this summer, including the likes of Victor Osihmen, Dusan Vlahovic, Mehdi Taremi, Goncalo Ramos, and Rasmus Hojlund. The Reds are currently negotiating with Atalanta for Hojlund, a young, promising talent who Erik ten Hag can potentially develop and mold into a clinical striker. At Ajax, Ten Hag already took former Premier League attackers, Dusan Tadic and Sebastien Haller, and turned them into top talents. Can the Dutchman do the same with Hojlund?

Talks with Atalanta are moving slowly (surprise, surprise), with the Serie A club already rejecting a player(s) plus cash offer from United. Hojlund reportedly wants to join the Reds, giving United a reason to wheel and deal, but Atalanta are demanding a cash payment in the region of €85 million to part ways with the Danish attacker. That’s a high figure for a 19-year-old with just nine goals and four assists in the league last season. United are a bit skint right now, but if they’re prepared to sanction such a large outlay for a striker for the future, would it make more sense for them to hold out until they sell a few players and pay just a bit more to land a striker they’ve already tried and failed to sign in Harry Kane?

I know, I know, but hear me out. As stubborn and as shrewd a business man as Daniel Levy is, he can’t really be open to allowing Kane to leave for free in a year, can he? Nobody’s that stubborn. Rumour has it Spurs have already rejected two offers from German giants, Bayern Munich, that fell way below the mark. An offer from United close to €100 million would surely be too good to pass up. Ange Postecoglou seems like a manager who would prefer to start his Spurs rebuild with four or five players for roughly the same price as one or two stars, so that money would go a long way towards kickstarting his project.

Here’s why I think United could return for Kane should Atalanta dig their heels in regarding Hojlund’s €85 million price tag: timing.

United and Spurs face off early this season on August 19 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Imagine the backlash for Spurs and Daniel Levy if they sell Kane to United before this match and he were to score or even grab three points against his former club. Not a good look. If Spurs are entertaining offers from other clubs, though, it’s likely that they, themselves, have been scouting replacements for Kane and perhaps already entered talks with these players. Would Levy be more receptive to an offer from United that eclipses Bayern’s after the match in August? An argument could be made that it would be more appealing to sell Kane to a non-Premier League club, but if Levy’s financial sense outweighs his stubbornness, money could talk.

And what’s in it for Kane to move to Manchester United instead of Bayern Munich? The Bundesliga champions are pretty much guaranteed the league each season, having won it the last ten years in a row, and are never too far off the bookies’ favourites in the Champions League. It’s been a decade since United last won the Premier League, but under Ten Hag, the Reds are flying. They won the first trophy available to them last season in the Carabao Cup and made it to the FA Cup final–not bad for the Dutchman’s first season at the helm. Add to that the fact that Manchester United did this without a true number nine and a move to Old Trafford seems tailor-made for Kane.

Let’s talk about records for a moment, as well. Kane is already Spurs’ all-time top scorer with 267 goals for the North London club. Furthermore, he’s now only behind Alan Shearer for the Premier League’s all-time scorer and needs only 47 more league goals to claim the top spot. A move to United just might ensure he reaches that milestone, cementing his legacy in the record books and finally even grabbing a trophy or two with United along the way. A move to Old Trafford would also mean Kane wouldn’t have to uproot his young family and relocate to Germany, too, which is a big factor for many players.

If reports are to be believed, Kane is still open to a move to United and United could wind up walking away from Hojlund altogether if a compromise with Atalanta can’t be reached. Retired footballer and now reporter/columnist, Jan Aage Fjortoft, claims that while Kane has already said yes to Bayern Munich, he’d still join United if a bid is accepted by Levy. It’s not outside the realm of possibility and stranger things have happened in the transfer window.

If Kane is Ten Hag’s number one target for the number nine role, then a bit of patience, selling a few players to raise a bit of extra money, and returning to Levy with a strong offer could be the perfect recipe to get the deal over the line and strengthen Manchester United’s starting eleven with the world class striker they’ve needed for years.

More Stories Bayern Munich Daniel Levy Harry Kane Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur

1 Comment

  1. Exercising in futility I suppose..
    United is out of the race for Kane, there are only two clubs who are chasing him openly, namely Munich & PSG..
    The only possibility for ETH opens up for Kane again is that IF Levy’s willing to run down the contract which is utterly highly unlikely..

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