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Harry Kane might be off to Manchester City for £160m

Terrible newspaper. Plausible story?

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

We need to talk about Harry Kane.

You’ve probably all seen by now the story reported in The Sun that makes the bold claim that Kane will be allowed to depart Tottenham Hotspur for Manchester City. The report, which I’m not going to link to in order to save you from having to surf to that horrible website, claims that Daniel Levy has sanctioned a £160m Premier League record transfer to the defending champions, and that also includes weekly wages of £400k/week, nearly double what Kane is making now.

The article goes on to claim that Daniel Levy informed Harry of this decision last Friday, and that Kane (or possibly, Kane’s brother and agent Charlie) spilled the beans to his friends and family at Harry’s brother’s recent wedding.

Oh, did I mention that the article’s author, Clemmie Moodie is one of the Sun’s gossip columnists? And that Charlie Kane follows her on Instagram? And that she’s close to the Kane family and that there’s a photo of Harry posing with her from a couple years back? That’s all a part of this too.

I don’t like writing about stuff in the Sun. It makes me feel icky every time I do so. It’s one thing to report on stories like Danny Rose’s explosive 2017 interview, or the occasional transfer rumor from (solid journalist) Alan Nixon. But this is the kind of salacious, rumor-mongering crap that has justifiably given the Sun the terrible reputation that it now has.

And yet!

Search your souls. Looking back on everything that has happened since Harry Kane opened his soul (or at least his mouth) to Gary Neville on a golf course back in May where he suggested that he wanted to leave the club where he came through from the academy to chase trophies, this certainly seems like the the outcome everyone expected. City have more money than God, and that’s pretty much what it would take to pry Kane out of north London and Levy’s clutches. We always said it would take stupid money to get Levy to sell Kane. This is pretty stupid money.

Now think about all of the rumors that have been swirling around Fabio Paratici and his transfer business, as well as the players who look likely to be coming in — Pierluigi Gollini on loan is the outlier, but Takehiro Tomiyasu for ~£20m. €25m + Erik Lamela for Bryan Gil. Something close to £40m for Cristian Romero, if the rumors are accurate. Further links with players like Danny Ings, Houssem Aouar, and Dusan Vlahovic. Does this sound like a club that a few months ago was quietly prepping fans for a summer of austerity? Or it does it sound like a club that’s trying to do business as quickly as possible, knowing that a big cash influx is coming, and before clubs get wise and jack up their prices?

Ask most rational Tottenham fans how much they’d want in return for Harry Kane, and the answer usually comes down somewhere around £125m, though my guess is a lot of fans would eventually “settle” for something around the £100m mark, factoring the lingering financial effects of COVID-19. That’s not all fans, of course, and many would be furious to sell Kane at all. But £160m? That’s ridiculous cash. That’s “sell Elvis and buy the Beatles” kind of money (or is the modern analogy closer to “sell Adele and buy the Arctic Monkeys?”)

Set aside all the drama, or the fact that there’s no indication if that figure is straight cash or if it includes one or multiple players in exchange, or is even accurate. Would you take £160m right now for Harry Kane?

Pretty sure my answer is yes.

Now, should we believe Clemmie Moodie about the nature of this story? I mean, who knows. However, the idea that someone got a little in their cups at Charlie Kane’s wedding and spilled the beans within hearing range of a Sun gossip reporter certainly seems like a plausible, if hilariously stupid, explanation as to why she’s got the byline and not, say, Alan Nixon.

I feel like I’ve said my goodbyes to Harry Kane already, and there’s a part of me that’s sad about how I’m not really sad anymore. Kane’s a club legend who’s credibility with the team he came up and became a star with is likely going to be irreparably damaged if this transfer is accurate and goes through. And, as we saw with the Gareth Bale sale, there are a ton of questions about Tottenham Hotspur’s ability to responsibly spend that amount of money in ways that not only replace someone of Harry’s ability but potentially make the team better.

But £160m (or the cash plus player equivalent) is a lot of money, and in an economy that is depressed by a global pandemic, in my view is too good to turn down. In a game that is as much about finance as it is about football, having money is certainly much better than not having it.

And if Clemmie Moodie’s reported wedding shenanigans turn out to be accurate, then it just makes the story all the more funny. After all, we’ve seen enough of Harry Kane playing football over the years to know that he has a hard time shutting his mouth.