Harry Kane’s future could be unresolved heading into the January window with Tottenham not willing to sell him this summer, regardless of whether he signs a new deal or where they finish in the Premier League.
The England international, who is focusing on trying to deliver a top-four spot, will enter the final year of his contract at the end of the season and talks over extending at the club are currently on ice.
Tottenham have no intention of sanctioning a sale even if that remains the case heading into the new campaign. Spurs are prioritising getting a deal over the line, but are being patient with their key asset.
Kane’s presence and contribution to the club is more valuable than the transfer fee he could amass, especially as they face a summer of transition with manager Antonio Conte set to depart and football director Fabio Paratici’s future uncertain.
Manchester United, long-term admirers of Kane, retain a strong interest in the 29-year-old but cannot afford a transfer saga in a priority position. Erik ten Hag wants a forward recruited as early as possible and his ideal scenario is to have new signings in place for the bulk of pre-season.
The Carabao Cup winners would “absolutely” explore a deal for the striker if everything aligned and Spurs switched from obstinate to being open to business. However, there is no appetite for a war of attrition with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
Depending on their summer trading and the profile brought into the attack – United are very mindful of having to sell well and comply with Financial Fair Play regulations – they could revisit the Kane situation in January.
United have cast a wide net over dynamic options, with the likes of Victor Osimhen, Goncalo Ramos, Lautaro Martinez, Dusan Vlhaovic and Mohammed Kudus assessed.
If Tottenham hold firm as planned this summer and still cannot get Kane to agree a new deal as the winter window approaches, he would be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club in January – a situation Bayern Munich are particularly invested in.
Much will depend on where Spurs (and United) finish domestically this season, as well as who succeeds Conte. Mauricio Pochettino would convince Kane to extend his deal if appointed, while sources close to the player believe he could also be swayed by an ambitious hire like Thomas Tuchel.
He is not at the age to “front another project and rebuild.” Kane wants to win and add silverware to a career of great professionalism, consistency and scoring excellence. He does not want to be remembered as “the guy who broke goal records but didn’t have any trophies to show for it.”
Carra: Man Utd only realistic option for Kane
Manchester United is Harry Kane’s only realistic transfer destination if he leaves Tottenham this summer, says Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.
“I think the only place he can go realistically is Manchester United and I don’t want to see him at Manchester United for obvious reasons,” Sky Sports pundit Carragher said on CBS. “When you think Liverpool have just signed Darwin Nunez, Manchester City have got Erling Haaland, and he can’t go to Arsenal.
“I don’t think there are too many clubs there right now for him but in terms of what is happening right now I think it is pretty negative and I think it will be interesting to see how it goes from now until the end of the season. I think there is going to be a real negativity around this club until now and the end of the season.”
Asked if Bayern Munich were another option, Carragher added: “He will want the Premier League record, if he stays between now and the end of his career he will be the top scorer to ever play in the Premier League.
“It can’t be the most important thing but it is a pretty special achievement. So I think if he is going to stay in England, the only big team who need a centre-forward is Manchester United. But will they pay £100m for a guy who is nearly 30?
“If he doesn’t leave this summer he will stay at Tottenham for the rest of his career.”
Asked if that was a bad thing for Kane, Carragher added: “No. Tottenham will always be there and thereabouts in terms of qualifying for the Champions League but are they going to win trophies? No. He’s never won one trophy in his life.
“Of course, he will [be idolised at Spurs if he stays]. If you’re asking me if he’s going to a club where he thinks he might win a domestic or leave Tottenham I would probably stay at Tottenham.
“He’s a guy who should be at least getting to quarters, semi-finals of the Champions League every year. He’s that good. But where does he go, that’s the big question?”