We all knew this was coming, but perhaps not this soon.
Fabrizio Romano, arguably the most trusted source for transfer news today, has confirmed through his sources that Manchester City have made an opening bid of £100m for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane. Daniel Levy has rejected this bid.
In recent days, City management has gone from words to deeds. In fact, a first official offer to Tottenham for Harry Kane has arrived from Manchester: £100 million guaranteed, plus availability to add one or two players as part of the deal, obviously depending on who they would be and without involving untouchable players for Guardiola.
That last part is rather interesting as Romano is indicating that the bid is for £100m plus a player or two. Who are those players being discussed? They aren’t nobodies, that’s for sure:
For example, the names of Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling (who has previously alluded to “behind scenes” issues at City) would be mentioned, but these are only possibilities and not a current part of the negotiation.
Let’s get some cold water and discuss this rationally for a moment. First, that fee is reportedly £50m shy of what Levy is looking for, but that’s a hell of a starting point. Throwing in a player or two certainly gets the valuation to £150m and could fill some much needed holes. Spurs desperately need help on the back line and Aymeric Laporte is a pretty good start. He’s currently on £120k/week but he’d also have to agree to the move. He’s 27 and more than competent as a defender. Raheem Sterling I’m going to say isn’t going to move because he’s on £300k/week and there’s not a chance that Levy offers that in a new contract.
Then there’s Gabriel Jesus. He hasn’t been bad, but ever since that first season in Manchester, he’s been fine to good. His best season came in the 19-20 campaign where he bagged 23 goals and 14 assists in 3200+ minutes, but last season he fell off a bit with just 14 goals and four assists in 2800+ minutes. Jesus has two years remaining on his current deal that pays him £90k/week and he’s almost certainly looking for a big bump.
The idea of selling a generational talent like Harry Kane is not a pleasant one, but there’s a perfect storm brewing where it’s easy to squint and see it happening. Spurs are still looking for a manager and, once that manager is brought in, he’ll have to decide how to play and where the squad needs a refresh. The club need to sell off players to raise funds and the COVID-19 pandemic has put the club in a bind. While Levy is going to take a hardline stance as long as he can with Kane, it’s extremely difficult to say no to a nine-figure fee plus filling in two positions of need.
We know this isn’t the end of this saga by a long shot, and Levy may simply be holding out for awhile due to the opening match being against the champions of England. If a deal were to go through prior to that match, it’s probably the death knell for any good will left with the fans. Levy would have to negotiate a deal where Kane can’t start that first match, or he simply waits until the opener and then pulls the trigger. The problem with the latter part of that statement is that you’re leaving transfer business until the last two weeks of the season.
We know that usually doesn’t play out well.
UPDATE (9:37AM ET): Romano has written this story for multiple publications but it seems there’s confusion regarding the valuation. City are looking to offer £100m total for everything, not £100m plus a player or two. This makes far more sense as to why Levy told them no.