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26th Jun 2017

Manchester United should break the world transfer record for Harry Kane

If Spurs value Kane so highly, why are they paying him the same as Jesse Lingard?

Robert Redmond

Manchester United will break the world transfer record again at some point, especially if Ed Woodward remains in charge.

The club spent £90m on Paul Pogba last summer. They did this because they could and wanted to, more than actually needing the player. United and Woodward want to make a splash in the transfer market, to flex United’s financial muscles and show the world that they’re the biggest club in the world.

Antoine Griezmann was meant to be the marquee signing this summer, but that didn’t work out and the French forward will stay at Atletico Madrid for another season at least. United will turn their attentions to other players in the meantime, but there’s one obvious player out there they should try sign.

Harry Kane was linked with a move to United over the weekend. Apparently Jose Mourinho told Woodward to go out and get Kane, and pay Tottenham Hotspur £100m if necessary.

On Monday, the Independent reported that this figure is off – Spurs value Kane at £200m. Apparently the club laughed at suggestions they would accept £100m for the 23-year-old, particularly as they sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for £86m four years ago, and transfer fees have inflated since then.

However, United should test Spurs’ resolve, bid £100m or £120m and see if Daniel Levy, the club’s chairman, laughs then.

Kane is brilliant, England’s best player and on his way to becoming one of the best strikers in the world. When he broke into the first-team in 2014, and went on a goalscoring run, a lot of people thought he a was a flash in the pan, that his luck would run out, but Kane kept scoring.

In the last three Premier League seasons, Kane has 75 goals in 102 games. He has scored more than 20 goals in each of those three seasons. To put that record in context, Wayne Rooney has only scored more than 20 league goals in two seasons, and he’s been a top flight player for 15 years.

There should be no doubt about Kane anymore. He’s a lethal finisher, physically strong and can drop deep to link up play. His movement is excellent and, while it’s a cliche, he does seem like a decent character. People have compared his playing style to a hybrid of Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham, and there’s a lot of merit in that. Kane would be as comfortable playing in the number 10 position as leading the line. He’s also excellent out of possession, pressing high and winning the ball for his team.

It’s scary to think the striker is also still only 23. Kane has a better chance than anyone of breaking Shearer’s record of 260 Premier League goals. It could also be argued he would be a better signing for United than Griezmann, as good as the French forward is.

He wouldn’t be as easy to sign as Griezmann, but it’s worth a try for United. They’re the richest club in the world, and while I’m not suggesting United should spend £200m on Kane, they should look to test Spurs’ resolve with something more realistic.

Spurs are also underpaying Kane. If they value him at £200m, why are they paying him the same as Jesse Lingard? Both players are paid around £100,000 a week.

Of course, this is an extraordinary amount of money. But within the context of Premier League football, Kane is underpaid. Rooney earns three times as much, yet Kane is now 10 times the player. Emmanuel Adebayor was reportedly paid £120,000 a week by Spurs. How can any club justify paying Adebayor more than Kane?

According to former Leeds United and Republic of Ireland midfielder John Giles, Spurs “took advantage” of Kane’s love for the club when he “signed a deal which paid way below the going rate for a 20-goal-a-season striker” last November. It’s difficult to argue with this.

“It proves to me that things have not changed in a hundred years and club owners will take advantage of any situation to turn a profit,” Giles said.

It appears United are also complacent about his value. According to the Independent’s report:

“Within United’s commercial department there is a feeling that Kane does not necessarily have the star quality of other recent United targets, with Antoine Griezmann the subject of publicity interest from partners long before his aborted move even began to gather speed.”

This is the type of flawed outlook that leads to a club overpaying by about £50m for a player and then bragging about him being the first footballer to have his own personalised emoji.

Kane is settled in an excellent team, working under Mauricio Pochettino, a brilliant manager, and could easily be top scorer again next season. And attempting to strike a deal with Spurs wouldn’t be easy. Daniel Levy, the club’s chairman is known to be a difficult negotiator.

However, it would be worth to test their resolve to keep Kane. You would have to imagine his loyalty will only go so far, and he’ll eventually ask why United’s most average player earns the same as him.

United have wasted time chasing Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Neymar in recent years. Surely Kane is more attainable than any of these players? He could be the Premier League’s top scorer over the next 10 years. If Pogba is worth £90m, why isn’t Kane worth £120m?