If even a Tottenham Hotspur goal-scoring legend is telling Harry Kane to leave, he might want to sit up and take notice.
Jermain Defoe was never in Kane’s calibre as a Premier League striker of course, but with the England captain’s Spurs future now back on the agenda — as it often is during quiet international breaks — the former White Hart Lane favourite couldn’t hold his tongue. Manchester United will surely be towards the front of the queue of clubs monitoring Kane’s situation if it appears as though he might leave, as Defoe suggested he should.
“If you'd have asked me this question a few years ago, I'd have said he should have stayed there, what he's done at the football club – he's a legend,” Defoe said.
But despite the presence of Jose Mourinho’s side in the Carabao Cup final this season, the intimation from Defoe was that Kane won’t be picking up the medals his ability clearly warrants if he stays at Tottenham for his whole career.
“If Harry Kane wants to win trophies then it looks like he has to go,” added the former striker, speaking on talkSPORT.
“I don't think it will be easy for him to leave and he might be looking at it and want to finish off being the highest goalscorer in the club's history and see where that takes him.
“He can hopefully win a few trophies, but if he's really craving medals then he really has to go.”
Kane is not one to create headlines with his comments in the media, so it was unsurprising to see the England skipper play down any suggestions he was considering a summer move. The only shock, perhaps, was that he didn’t rule out a transfer entirely, suggesting he will take stock after the European Championships have finished.
Kane said: “To be thinking about speculations or rumours would be damaging in terms of my own performance. I always like to be focused on one goal and one job and that's to finish strong with Spurs, win these qualifiers with England and hopefully go on and have a great Euros.
“Look, I try to stay out of that speculation as much as possible. I'm fully focused on doing the job on the pitch from now until the end of the summer and then we'll see where we go from there.”
United are long-term admirers of Kane and talk is rife around Old Trafford at the moment with regards to an incoming striker signing. An extension to Edinson Cavani’s contract is looking less and less likely with every passing week amid concerns over his fitness — and comments aplenty from South America about a homecoming.
Erling Haaland is United’s principal striking target but landing the Borussia Dortmund marksman for anything less than £100million this summer looks a massive long-shot. Haaland will be available for £67million in June 2022.
That, coupled with Kane’s situation, could mean United aren’t able to land either of the two main striking targets this summer.
It has been virtually impossible for any club to prise Kane away from Spurs in the past few summers.
His loyalty to his boyhood club has always been unwavering but even if that changes and Kane listens to comments like those from Defoe, Daniel Levy is football’s toughest negotiator and will dig in his heels over a club talisman like Kane. It may cost upwards of £150million for any club to land a player (contracted until June 2024) who turns 28 in July and that is simply unfeasible in a transfer window that will likely be affected by the covid-19 pandemic again.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's options don't look brilliant for the immediate short-term. In short, United (and Kane, if indeed he wants a big transfer) need the stars to align for this move to ever come to fruition.
Nothing has happened, yet, to suggest that is going to change.