Harry Kane to Manchester United may already be gearing up to the transfer story of the summer.
The England international looked like he’d be on his way out of Tottenham last year, but it never worked out, even though he failed to turn up for training after returning from his post-Euro 2020 break.
Could we be set for more Kane speculation again this year? There’s no denying that all the ingredients are there for a major transfer saga, with the Telegraph talking up the possibility of a reunion between Kane and Mauricio Pochettino at Old Trafford.
Their report suggests Kane is keen to work under former Spurs boss Pochettino again, while analysis from Jason Burt talks up just how good a signing this could be for the Red Devils.
While Kane has unquestionably been one of the Premier League’s finest players for the last seven or eight years, this kind of Man Utd purchase would be the latest in a long line of poorly-thought-out deals that just shows that they are a club relying on yesterday’s ideas instead of keeping ahead of the curve.
As great as Kane has been, he’s going to turn 29 this summer and is having one of his worst seasons for Tottenham, scoring only five league goals in 21 games so far this term.
Form is temporary, class is permanent, and all that, but the same could be said of United’s recent deals for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez – two big names with obvious appeal, but two signings that have disrupted the overall development of something more coherent in the MUFC squad. Similarly, the hiring of managers like Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho both came a few years too late.
If you were to fast forward to a year from now and see an ageing Kane slowing down and scoring less often, perhaps struggling with a few more niggling injuries, would you really be that surprised? He may yet have a surprise left in him, but it’s perfectly possible that his peak years are behind him now, and United should instead be focusing on identifying the next big thing, rather than chasing the biggest name.
From Kane’s point of view, it’s been well-documented by the Times and others that his preference last summer was to move to Manchester City to play under Pep Guardiola.
Given that the 28-year-old has never won a major trophy in his career so far, it’s easy to see why he’d be tempted to link up with serial winner Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, but would Old Trafford be enough of a step up?
As things stand, United don’t look particularly likely to be finishing in the top four, and there’s every chance that it could even be Kane’s Spurs side finishing above them in the table. He’s playing under a world class manager in Antonio Conte at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, so would it really be the best move to chase an emotional reunion with Pochettino? The Argentine may have worked wonders in north London a few years ago, but his time at the club ended on a low note, and he’s been totally underwhelming in his time at PSG so far.
Needless to say, Kane and Pochettino would not necessarily complement each other at United in the same way they did in entirely different circumstances at Spurs all those years ago.
At start of their time together, Kane was an exciting youngster breaking onto the scene, and both he and his manager were under little pressure to really deliver much in the way of silverware, which ended up eluding them anyway, even if they surpassed expectations by twice coming close to winning the Premier League title and also reaching the club’s first ever Champions League final.
At United, both would be arriving with huge reputations and would be expected to deliver success straight away, despite all the other dysfunction on and off the pitch at Old Trafford, which will not be going away overnight, no matter who the manager or the new signings are.
In short, everything about this move suggests it should have happened about three years ago. If it happens now, it’s going to end in tears for everyone involved.