Manchester United have been linked with a move for Tottenham star Harry Kane for a long time, but this summer could be their best chance to finally sign him.
The England captain is reportedly frustrated with Spurs’ lack of progress and trophies and could be tempted to leave if they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
However, United are not the only club interested in Kane, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season. Bayern Munich are also said to be keeping tabs on him, as they look for a long-term successor to Robert Lewandowski.
The German champions have the financial muscle and the prestige to lure Kane away from the Premier League, but they are also wary of getting into a bidding war with United.
According to reports, Bayern are reluctant to pay more than £100 million for Kane, who is valued at around £150 million by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Levy is known for being a tough negotiator and would not want to sell his prized asset to a domestic rival, but he may have no choice if Kane pushes for a move and United make a convincing offer.
So how can United persuade Levy to lower his asking price and convince Kane to join them? Here are some possible steps that manager Erik ten Hag could take to boost his chances of landing the prolific striker this summer.
1. Secure Champions League qualification
The first and most obvious step is to ensure that United finish in the top four of the Premier League and secures a spot in next season’s Champions League. This would not only boost their revenue and reputation, but also make them more attractive to Kane, who has never played in Europe’s elite competition with Spurs.
United are currently second in the table, 14 points behind leaders Manchester City but 11 points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea. They have a game in hand over both teams and look set to finish as runners-up unless they suffer a dramatic collapse in form.
Ten Hag has done a remarkable job since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January, winning 15 of his 19 games in charge and improving the team’s style and consistency.
However, he cannot afford to take his foot off the pedal and let complacency creep in. He needs to keep his players motivated and focused until the end of the season, and avoid any slip-ups that could jeopardize their Champions League qualification.
He also needs to prepare them well for their Europa League quarter-final tie against Granada, which could offer them another route into the Champions League if they win the trophy.
2. Sell some fringe players
The second step is to raise some funds by selling some of the fringe players who are not part of Ten Hag’s plans and are taking up valuable space on the wage bill. United have a bloated squad that needs trimming down, especially in attack, where they have too many options who are not delivering enough goals or assists.
Ten Hag has already shown that he is not afraid to make tough decisions and axe some big names from his squad. He has frozen out Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid or Juventus and has also sidelined Donny van de Beek, who has failed to impress since joining from Ajax last summer.
He has also loaned out Jesse Lingard to West Ham, where he has rediscovered his form and confidence.
Ten Hag could look to offload some more players who are surplus to requirements or do not fit his system. These could include Anthony Martial, who has scored only seven goals this season and has been criticized by Ten Hag for his lack of work rate and movement.
Juan Mata, who is out of contract in June and has barely featured under Ten Hag; Phil Jones, who has not played a single minute this season due to injury; and Sergio Romero, who is also out of contract and wants to leave.
By selling these players, United could free up some wages and generate some cash that could be used to fund a move for Kane. They could also use some of these players as part of a swap deal with Spurs, if Levy is interested in any of them.
3. Offer Kane a lucrative contract
The third step is to offer Kane a lucrative contract that would make him one of the highest-paid players in the world and show him how much United value him. Kane is currently earning around £200,000 per week at Spurs, which is less than what some of his peers at other clubs are earning.
Final Thoughts: Can Manchester United Land Harry Kane this Summer?
Harry Kane is one of the most coveted strikers in the world, and it’s no surprise that Manchester United are interested in him.
However, landing him this summer won’t be an easy task, as Spurs are likely to demand a hefty transfer fee and may not want to sell him to a domestic rival. Bayern Munich are also reportedly in the mix, and they have the financial muscle and the prestige to compete with United.
That said, there are several steps that United could take to improve their chances of signing Kane. First and foremost, they need to secure Champions League qualification and show Kane that they are a team on the rise.
United are currently in a strong position to finish in the top four, but they can’t afford to let complacency creep in and need to keep their foot on the pedal until the end of the season.
Secondly, they need to sell some of the fringe players who are not part of Erik ten Hag’s plans and are taking up valuable space on the wage bill.
United have a bloated squad that needs trimming down, especially in attack, where they have too many options who are not delivering enough goals or assists. By offloading some of these players, they could generate some cash that could be used to fund a move for Kane.
Lastly, United need to offer Kane a lucrative contract that would make him one of the highest-paid players in the world and show him how much they value him.
While money may not be the only factor that Kane considers when deciding his future, it’s certainly an important one. United can offer him the chance to play for a club with a rich history, a passionate fanbase, and a talented squad that is on the up.
Signing Kane won’t be easy for United, but they have a good chance if they play their cards right. If they can secure Champions League qualification, sell some fringe players, and offer Kane a lucrative contract, they could persuade him to leave Spurs and join them this summer.
It remains to be seen whether they can pull it off, but it would be a major coup if they do.