Kane on reported Man Utd interest: ‘Bayern the right choice’

Harry Kane maintains Bayern Munich always felt like the right choice for his
next club as the England striker prepares to face Manchester United in the
Champions League.

Kane left Tottenham for Bayern in a deal which could be worth up to £100m ahead of the summer transfer window closing.

Reports suggested United were one of the English clubs also interested in the 30-year-old forward.

“Obviously, over the summer I know there were some talks between a few clubs in the background, but Bayern were a team I was really interested and excited by,” the England captain said ahead of Wednesday night’s Group A opener at the Allianz Arena.

“There were not too many other discussions once they came in. It was between them and Tottenham to talk and then the deal got done.

“My focus is on here. Manchester United are a great club, a really big club as well. I just decided to come here and am really happy I have.”

Kane warns Bayern against complacency against United

Kane warned against complacency when Bayern face Erik ten Hag’s side, who have struggled for consistency so far this term and were beaten 3-1 at home by Brighton on Saturday.

“United have been going through a tough spell recently, but sometimes that can be really dangerous,” he said.

“They are looking for a big response and we need to be careful of that.

“We are at home and want to dictate the game, to play the way we want to – but they have some threats as well who we have to be careful of.”

Kane on Maguire: ‘England are fully behind him’

Harry Kane with Harry Maguire
Kane has backed Harry Maguire ahead of Bayern Munich’s Champions League clash with Man Utd

Kane could come up against England team-mate Harry Maguire, who was again singled out for criticism during last week’s 3-1 friendly win over Scotland.

The England captain defended Maguire, saying he was one of his country’s best ever defenders.

“I think H has come under some really unnecessary scrutiny,” Kane said. “He has probably been scapegoated a bit in terms [for] the way the team have gone over recent times.

“He is a really good friend of mine. He is a great guy, a really hard-working professional.

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“From an England point of view, he has been one of our best defenders in recent times – I would go as far as to say one of our best defenders over the history of our country in an England shirt.

“It is part of our game now, you are scrutinised all over social media. But, knowing him, all he will want to do is work harder, to improve and get better, stay focused.

“We are fully behind him as a national team. The coach (Gareth Southgate) came out and backed him fully.

“There is always going to be noise around players. We have a really strong core within our England team, which is the most important thing going into big games and tournaments.”

Kane: I can play better

Harry Kane took his tally to three goals in two Bundesliga games since joining Bayern Munich from Tottenham
Kane has scored four goals since his move to Bayern Munich

Kane has made a good start to life in Germany.

He has scored four Bundesliga goals for Bayern, including in the 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night.

Kane, who is set to make his Champions League debut for Bayern on Wednesday, said: “Being here now, I am just enjoying the new surroundings. I have been back and forth with the internationals and the birth of my fourth child.

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Harry Kane got Bayern Munich off to the perfect start in their Friday night clash with Bayer Leverkusen, heading home at the far post to edge his side in front.

“I still don’t feel I have fully settled into everything yet – that will take a bit more time – but over the course of the season I will get to know more about the club and speak to the big names who have played here before.”

Kane added: “It has been a good start for me here. Whenever there is a big transfer, there is always a little bit more pressure and expectation going into the first few games to see how you start.

“I am really pleased to have scored the four goals so far. I think I can play better, and that will come with just getting to know my team-mates more, the system and the way we play. There is definitely room for improvement in my all-round game.”

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Highlights from the Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen

Kane on Tuchel: ‘He’s always pushing us to improve’

Harry Kane is enjoying working with Bayern head coach Thomas Tuchel, who won the Champions League during his time at Chelsea.

“We have got a good relationship,” England’s record goalscorer said. “He is always pushing players to improve and get better – that has been no different with me.

“There has been no special treatment because I am a new player or a big player – he treats me the same as everyone else.

“I can learn a lot from a manager like him. He has managed some of the biggest clubs in the world and been really successful.

“We all know we can improve a bit better as a team and that will come throughout the season.”

Kane keeping an eye on Spurs’ results

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Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane hails Tottenham’s start to the season in the Premier League and says he will always keep an eye on his former side.

Despite Kane’s departure, Tottenham have made an impressive start under new head coach Ange Postecoglou this season and are unbeaten in the Premier League with four wins to sit second.

Spurs travel to north London rivals Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 2pm), and Kane insists he will keep an eye on his former club’s results for the rest of his life.

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The Football Show team explain how Ange Postecoglou has transformed Tottenham with his attacking brand of football.

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“Fantastic start – I am always keeping an eye on them and think I will keep an eye on Tottenham for the rest of my life,” Kane said.

“I am really happy to see the team playing the way they are and, of course, to see their fans happy as well is a great thing.

“I am sure they will be excited to keep that up. They have a massive game coming up (against Arsenal on Sunday), so for sure I will see how they get on over the course of the season.”

Tuchel: Everyone wanted Kane

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel believes every big club needing a striker would have wanted to sign Kane

Meanwhile, in his pre-Man Utd press conference, Bayern head coach Thomas Tuchel insists every big club needing a striker would want to sign Harry Kane and that taking the England captain away from the premier League was a “big thing”.

The former Chelsea boss said: “It’s a big thing. We took the skipper of England out of England, out of the Premier League. It’s a huge deal and a big transfer. We’re very happy.

“Anyone in Europe who was looking for No 9 would have been happy to have Harry in the team. He makes your team better and gives you what you expect from a No 9: personality, goals, quality.

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Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel hails the impact that summer signing Harry Kane has made at the club saying he has already made a huge difference the club.

“He can drop deep in a No 10 position, turn and use the speed of the players around him. He can arrive in the box at the right time, he has excellent finishing, he’s a good penalty taker, so everybody wanted to have him.

“I’m not sure about what was going on at other clubs but we are more than happy he took the decision to join us and make us better.

“He will always be a difference maker in any game, not only in the big games and not only by goals. He gives us a lot of personality. With time he will make our players around him better. He will learn how to make them shine, use their skills. He will assist and not only score. He will be the difference and he is already the difference.

“Not only him but he is part of us making the difference. That is very important and that’s why we relied heavily on this transfer. That’s why we had a lot of confidence we are doing the right thing. He will prove us right, I am 100 per cent convinced, there is no doubt about it.”

Tuchel: Man Utd are always dangerous

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel:

“I think it doesn’t tell a lot about them because within a match you can’t be sure against Manchester United, that’s my experience. The moment you think you dominate or control the match is the most dangerous moment because they can suffer off the ball, can defend very deep, they know that they can rely on their great transition game with Rashford, Hojlund with great quality and pace. That’s why we have to be very attentive, awake and smart to occupy the spaces.

“If we look at the points at the start of the season for Manchester United is not satisfying. If you look and analyse the last match there was a really strong 20 minutes where they could have scored against Brighton. To play against Brighton is always a difficult one because they have their own style. Many teams have difficulties against them but they were never out of that match against Brighton.

“It’s always dangerous. There is so much individual quality in the team, especially in attack and their transition game.”

Ten Hag: I’ve never been able to pick my best Man Utd XI

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he is “never” able to select his strongest XI because of squad inconsistencies and injuries.

Speaking ahead of United’s trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich on Wednesday, the Dutchman explained he was concerned by his squad’s injury record, with up to 12 first-team players currently sidelined.

Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount are among those on the injured list, with Ten Hag also confirming Harry Maguire will miss this week’s Champions League commitments with a “complaint”. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also been lost since the weekend.

Jadon Sancho and Antony remain unavailable due to respective off-field issues.

Of United’s 21-man travelling squad, four are goalkeepers, while Ten Hag has only been able to name five defenders.

“One thing is true, from the start of last season I don’t think I ever started with, in my opinion, the best starting XI,” Ten Hag said. “There was always injuries.

Rasmus Hojlund reacts after having an effort disallowed against Brighton
Rasmus Hojlund has featured twice since joining Man Utd from Atalanta but is yet to find the net

“We always got results apart from the period we are in now. I have experienced it in the past and managed it. You have to deal with it. I like these situations because you have to handle it and know what to do, and that is focusing on the process.”

The United boss is already under scrutiny, and things could get a lot more uncomfortable if his side suffers defeat against the six-time European champions in one of the standout fixtures of the opening week.

United have lost three of their opening five Premier League games, including last weekend’s 3-1 home reverse against Brighton.

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Sam Blitz is joined by Peter Smith on ‘The Question’ as they take a look at the many problems surrounding Manchester United’s turbulent season.

“The doctors are dealing with the problems,” he added. “First of all, injuries always come in top football because we are living on the edge.

“Of course, we analyse why things happen, but we also have to deal with the effects. We have to get the best out of it. We need to make the next step, integrating Rasmus Hojlund and Sergio Reguilon.”

Ten Hag’s belief about their path is why he is not getting thrown off kilter by the negativity heading into United’s first Champions League match in 18 months.

“No, we don’t feel that we need a reset,” the former Bayern Munich reserve boss said. “Absolutely not. We are in a process and what you see is that in parts of games we play very good but then also in parts of games we played below our levels.”

Kane: Teams in poor form can be dangerous

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England captain Harry Kane defends international teammate Harry Maguire after recent criticism.

While Harry Kane has scored four goals already in the Bundesliga and Bayern are level on points with leaders Bayern Leverkusen, he has warned against reading too much into United’s contrasting form.

The striker, who played in five Champions League campaigns with Tottenham before signing for Bayern in the summer, said underestimating United would be dangerous.

“They’ve been going through a tough spell recently but sometimes that can make a team dangerous because they want to respond,” Kane, who was reportedly a prior target for at Old Trafford, told reporters.

“We’re at home and want to control the game but we need to be careful of their threat.

“I don’t think about form because every game can be different. There can be big response from teams going through a difficult spell.”

Kane and co could heap more pressure on slow-starting Man Utd

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

There will be something of a ‘here’s what you could have won’ feeling for Man Utd supporters watching Harry Kane face up against their side in Bayern Munich colours on Wednesday.

With a striker Erik ten Hag’s top priority in the summer transfer window, United’s desire to sign the England captain was no secret. But finances and Tottenham’s preference not to sell to a Premier League rival proved problematic.

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Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel hails the impact that summer signing Harry Kane has made at the club.

Now an in-form Kane could add to their mounting early-season problems in Bavaria. Defensive and attacking numbers are on the decline for Ten Hag’s men, off-field issues are multiplying and a return of three defeats from their first five Premier League games has alarm bells ringing.

If the loss at home to Brighton on Saturday was a reality check, the fear is Bayern could deal an even more damaging blow to their morale and expectations for this season.

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Harry Kane admits there were talks between a number of clubs for his signature during the summer, but he insists he’s very happy he chose Bayern Munich.

The return to the Champions League has been craved after a season away. This is where Man Utd feel they belong. But unless there’s a significant step-change against Kane and co, things could be about to get even more troublesome for Ten Hag’s travelling side in Munich.

Kane on target but Bayern held by Leverkusen in thriller

Bayer Leverkusen struck deep in added time to snatch a 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich to stay top of the Bundesliga.

In a thrilling game at Allianz Arena, Harry Kane opened the scoring in the seventh minute before Alex Grimaldo’s stunning free-kick brought the visitors level before half-time.

Chances continued to flow at both ends as the two sides went toe to toe, and the deadlock was eventually broken with four minutes remaining of normal time with Leon Goretzka’s strike putting Bayern on course for a dramatic victory.

However, there was still time for more late drama. Leverkusen were handed a late penalty after a VAR check following Alphonso Davies’ challenge on Jonas Hofmann. Substitute Exequiel Palacios made no mistake from the spot to rescue a point for Xabi Alonso’s side.

In pictures: The late drama…

Bayern thought they had won the game with Goretzka’s late goal

Bayer Leverkusen
However, Bayer Leverkusen fought until the end and rescued a point

It meant the night ended in disappointment for Kane and his team-mates

How the drama unfolded in Munich…

Bayern made the perfect start when Kane headed them in front in the seventh minute. The England captain drifted into space at the far post and former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka could only watch a sight he has seen many times before as Kane made no mistake from close range.

The hosts threatened to run riot, but Leverkusen found a way back into the game when Grimaldo’s stunning free-kick beat Sven Ulreich to find the top corner.

The it was Leverkusen’s turn to dominate the game. Alonso’s side created some fantastic chances, with Victor Boniface causing the Bayern defence all sorts of problems, but the Leverkusen forward, who also had a goal ruled out for offside, was denied by Ulreich at his near post.

Harry Kane's early goal gave Bayern Munich the lead against Bayer Leverkusen
Kane’s early goal gave Bayern Munich the lead against Bayer Leverkusen

However, in a topsy-turvy game, Bayern roared back just before the break with Lukas Hradecky forced into action three times in three minutes to deny Leroy Sane, Goretzka and Serge Gnabry with a superb triple save.

Hradecky was needed after the break as he stuck out a boot to deny Kane with the England captain through on goal.

Bayern's Harry Kane reacts after a missed chance during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Kane reacts after a missed chance

There were chances to grab a second at both ends of the pitch but the breakthrough finally came in the 86th minute when Goretzka swept home Mathys Tel’s cross.

The goal sparked wild Bayern celebrations but they were cut short when the visitors were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time.

Referee Daniel Schlager did not initially point to the spot following Davies’ challenge on Hofmann. But after a VAR check the referee was sent to the screen and Schlager reversed his decision to award the spot kick. Palacios made no mistake to spark the Leverkusen celebrations.

There was still time for another Bayern attack and Dayot Upamecano wheeled away in celebration after finding the back of the net, but the offside flag meant a deserved share of the spoils.

Both sides lose their perfect starts to the Bundesliga season and it is Leverkusen who stay top, ahead of Bayern in second on goal difference.

What’s next?

Up next for Bayern Munich is a Champions League game against Premier League side Manchester United at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm. They are next in Bundesliga action on Saturday September 23 at home to VfL Bochum; kick-off 2.30pm.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen are in Europa League action next when they take on Hacken on Thursday; kick-off 5.45pm. Their next Bundesliga fixture is against Heidenheim on Sunday September 24, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2.30pm.

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Kane: Not winning at Spurs wasn’t a disaster but it’s different at Bayern

Harry Kane says he feels a “different pressure” to win every game at Bayern Munich compared to at Tottenham where not winning for a couple of matches “wasn’t a disaster”.

The England captain left boyhood club Spurs to move to Germany last month, aiming to help Bayern win a 12th successive Bundesliga title and the first major honour of his career.

Bayern have won their first three league games with Kane scoring three times and providing one assist – and he feels there is a bigger expectation at his new club.

“It’s a different pressure to what I felt at Spurs. Of course, we wanted to win things but if you went a couple of games without winning, it wasn’t a disaster. The feeling at Bayern is that you have to win every game,” he said ahead of England’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine on Saturday in Wroclaw.

“That’s part and parcel of being at one of the biggest clubs in the world. I’m enjoying feeling those different emotions and that’s part of the reason that I wanted to go.

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Harry Kane continues his progress in Germany by wearing the traditional costume of lederhosen and says he has a desire to settle in as quickly as he can

“When we get back, we start the Champions League campaign, which they expect to win. So you’re going into those games with maybe a different feeling to what I’ve had in the past.”

But will the pressure make him an even better player?

“I believe it will. There is definitely a lot of pressure to take. Time will tell, but at the moment I am enjoying that feeling,” he said.

With this season’s Champions League final at Wembley and the Euro 2024 finals taking place in Germany – Kane could yet lift silverware at homes old and new, having already watched a number of his England team-mates win the game’s top prizes, which he admits has been difficult to see.

Harry Kane celebrates Bayern Munich's winner with goal scorer Mathys Tel
Harry Kane has scored three goals in three games for Bayern Munich

“I have been told about the Champions League final in Wembley. I know the Euros are in Germany next summer so if there’s someone out there writing a movie, I will try and do my best to make it happen!” he said.

“It’s hard. There’s so much time to go I don’t want to think about it too much, but if it did happen it would be incredible.

“As a competitor, when the boys are playing the Champions League and I am just sitting at home watching it, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that hurt.

“Of course, I want them to do well but a part of me wants to have those experiences. I am not sure jealous is the right word but with other players in the team having done that, it does motivate me to go on and try to push myself towards some of those trophies the guys have got.”

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Watch highlights of Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich debut in the Bundesliga against Werder Bremen

England boss Gareth Southgate suggested last week that Kane winning trophies would be a good thing for the national team, something the striker agreed with.

“I think so,” he added. “Of course, there is no hiding the fact it is the one thing missing from my career at the moment and when you have got players in the squad who have won things, you want to be part of that as well and have
those experiences as well.

“Just the experiences of having title runs and cup runs and hopefully a Champions League run will only add, hopefully, to handling pressure in certain situations. If we are going to win anything with England we are going to have to deal with that. Me, being captain, I want to put myself in that position as much as possible.

“Whether I win or not, the decision (to join Bayern) came down to putting me in those situations. With Bayern Munich sometimes we expect them to win because they have won it for the last 11 years.

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Harry Kane reflects on his new life at Bayern Munich after scoring twice in a 3-1 home win against Augsburg

“In my short period there is still a lot of pressure to win these trophies. We have not won the cup for a few years and we have not won the Champions League for a few years so there is definitely a lot to gain and a lot of pressure to take.

“Time will tell, but at the moment I am enjoying that feeling and for the rest of the year it is a good competition to have.”