Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all willing to test Daniel Levy’s resolve in the chase for Harry Kane, with the Tottenham Hotspur chairman insistent he will only sell the striker abroad.
The 27-year-old has informed the club that he wants to leave in order to win the game’s biggest trophies, having had initial conversations about a month ago. Levy’s hardline stance isn’t as straightforward as usual due to the nature of his relationship with Kane, and the feeling that he has shown fair commitment to Spurs over the past few years. On the other side, though, the player’s six-year contract - not set to finish until 2024 - means he doesn’t have as much leverage as he would like. The common belief in the game is that it would take £150m to prise Kane from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, although Spurs sources are insistent it would be more.
The situation could also be conditioned by the fact Levy may feel it is worth cashing in on the striker, especially with club resources stretched at a knife-edge period, as they seek another new manager.
Sources have stated that it is Chelsea who are the most willing of the English clubs to pay the money required, although such a move has a series of political complications. It is the move Levy just wouldn’t countenance, while Kane does not want to completely sour his relationship with Spurs’ supporters. Chelsea are in the hunt for a No.9, though, and willing to buy one in Kane’s age bracket.
That isn’t quite the case for City. The English champions have generally had a policy of not paying more than £60m for a player, but they are expected to break that this summer, by signing Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and a centre-forward. Their preference for the striker position is a player below the age of 24, who would fully justify such expenditure and stay at the club for over five years - much like the outgoing Sergio Aguero. They do retain an interest in Kane, though, and are watching the situation.
United have the same approach. They are in the market for a “star” this summer, and Kane would fit the description. Whether they want to go beyond their budget for a striker is an issue - especially now Edinson Cavani has signed a new deal - but The Independent has been told that the prospect has been discussed at the top of the club.
It would also represent a signal of the Glazers’ investment, after a fraught period at the club.
Paris Saint-Germain are the non-English club best set to sign Kane, especially with Kylian Mbappe’s future uncertain, and Mauricio Pochettino’s strong relationship with his former striker. As reported by the Independent last month, that would be Levy’s preference.
Kane would prefer to have his future resolved before Euro 2020, but that is seen as unlikely by figures close to the situation.