LONDON: Harry Kane takes to the stage of the UEFA European Under-21 finals this week aware that he is the subject of Manchester United’s thoughts about signing a new striker.
United would need to offer £40m even to try to prise Kane away from White Hart Lane after his dramatic, 21-goal season.
Premier League clubs have money to invest with the assurance of a massive new television coming on-stream next year and United are keen to maintain the pace expected to be set by neighbours Manchester City.
They have already signed Holland winger ace Memphis Depay but Radamel Falcao has returned to Monaco after a disappointing loan season. ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez is set to follow, unwanted at either Old Trafford or Real Madrid where he spent the second half of this past term on loan.
Even the future of Robin Van Persie is uncertain because of his fitness problems. The Dutchman has no wish to stay at United only in the role of an ‘impact substitute.’
United and England captain Wayne Rooney is a fan of Kane and, having worked with him for the national team, is believed to have recommended his signing to United manager Louis Van Gaal.
United may struggle, however, to prise Kane away from Tottenham. The London club’s chairman Daniel Levy has reassured manager Mauricio Pochettino that he has no plans to cash in on either Kane or goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
United are expected to make a move for goalkeeper Lloris once David De Gea seals his move to Real Madrid as a ready-made successor to Iker Casillas.
Spurs finished only one place and six points behind United in the Premier League and the departure of Lloris may be more likely than that of Kane.
The France captain has made no secret of his growing impatiance to play Champions League football again as soon as possible.
Manchester City are ready to spend up to £150m to provide Manuel Pellegrini with the quality he needs to challenge more effectively in both in Premier and Champions Leagues.
Key immediate target is Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling with Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne also on the wanted list.
City are considering doubling their offer for Sterling to £40m after having an initial £25m bid rejected by Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group. FSG values the 20-year-old, who has 24 months left on his current deal, at £50m and wants to keep him even though Sterling has turned down a £100,000-a-week offer and insisted he wants to leave.
Liverpool’s sixth-place finish means they cannot offer him Champions League football next season, unlike all those interested in signing him.