On Monday evening the news broke that Harry Kane had informed Tottenham he wished to leave this summer.
Sky Sports reported that Tottenham had already begun looking for striking replacements for Kane, who is their second all-time leading goal scorer.
The north London side have no interest in selling Kane, but have known about his desire to move on for some time and have reluctantly come to accept it.
The 27-year-old Kane has not won a single trophy in his career so far and wants to move to a club where he can achieve that before it is too late.
Kane wants to remain in the Premier League and continue his quest to overtake Alan Shearer as it’s all-time leading goal scorer, while Tottenham would prefer not to sell him to a domestic rival and instead see him move abroad.
Manchester United have been aware of Kane’s desire to leave for the last year, and along with Manchester City and Chelsea have expressed an interest in signing him
For the first four months of the year, with United expecting Edinson Cavani to return to South America, they had been exploring a possible bid for Kane this summer.
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But the Uruguayan ultimately changed his mind and last week signed a one-year contract to remain at United for next season.
This represents a cheaper and short-term solution for United that would allow them to attempt to sign Kane or Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland next summer.
But Kane making it known he wants to leave Tottenham has presented United with a dilemma: do they go for him now or stand aside and watch him strengthen their rivals by possibly moving to the blue half of Manchester?
Whatever happens, it won’t be an easy transfer for any club to complete as Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy is a famously difficult negotiator, and Kane still has three years remaining on his contract.
The biggest obstacle of all is the transfer fee Tottenham will demand, which is believed to be around £150 million.
This would swallow up United’s entire budget for this summer and leave nothing else for other signings.
It is widely accepted United can only afford one marquee signing this summer, and this is highly unlikely to be Kane.
Instead Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is emerging as United’s main transfer target in this approaching window.
United are far more relaxed about making a large investment in Sancho who is still only 21-year-old, rather than Kane who turns 28 this summer.
And while United have two players in Cavani and Anthony Martial who can play in the Number 9 role, they have been desperate to fill the vacancy on the right side of their attack for several years now. Sancho would be the perfect solution.
United are determined to avoid another transfer saga involving Sancho after their interest in him was drawn out over the whole of last summer.
The Old Trafford club did make a bid for the England international, but came nowhere near the German club’s valuation of £108 million.
Twelve months later United are more confident they can finally secure Sancho’s signature, especially as there are signs Dortmund are willing to reduce their asking price to nearer £80 million.
This would also leave more funds, possibly boosted by several outgoing sales as well, for United to make further signings to bolster their defence and midfield.
As it stands it is far more likely Sancho rather than Kane will arrive at Old Trafford this summer.