Manchester City have had two main transfer targets this summer, despite their manager Pep Guardiola crying poverty a couple of weeks ago, and both of them command huge transfer fees: Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish. Tottenham fans are of course well aware of the mutual interest between Kane and City of completing a transfer this summer, as well as the amount of money it would take for Tottenham to countenance a transfer.
Late last week, news emerged that City have made a £100m bid for Villa midfielder Grealish, a bid that seems likely to be accepted in time. Now, the Manchester Evening News (MEN) is reporting that should the Grealish deal go through, City is likely to drop their interest in Kane completely unless they can raise the funds through player sales.
City have made Grealish and Kane their two top targets in the transfer market, with Pep Guardiola keen to replace Sergio Aguero, the club’s all-time record scorer who moved to Barcelona at the end of last season.
However, the MEN understands a move for Kane will not be financially viable if Grealish joins - unless significant player sales are countenanced. Kane is valued at well in excess of £100million by Tottenham, who do not want to sell their talismanic striker.
— Manchester Evening News
I have doubts about this reporting, only because I feel pretty confident that City can pretty easily afford both Grealish and Kane if they’d really want to do so. It’s also important that we not put the cart in front of the horse — the Grealish bid has not been accepted, and Villa is still saying that they feel confident that they can keep ahold of him. Should Villa play hard-ball, that could change the calculus.
Now, look — Tottenham fans are divided on whether or not it would be a good idea to sell Kane this summer. It’s clear that Kane wants to go, and wants to go to City. Reports have emerged that Kane is set for talks with chairman Daniel Levy on Monday where he is again going to reiterate his desire to leave.
But if City have decided to focus on Grealish and not Kane, I’m not sure there’s anything that Harry can do. He still has three years left on his contract, and we know that Levy will not let him go on the cheap. At that point, after a summer of clunky PR moves orchestrated by Kane’s brother and agent Charlie in attempts to force a move, it’s going to be up to Kane to try and repair some of the damage done to his reputation and standing among Spurs fans.
And that last bit about player sales? That’s also significant. City have already raised more than £40 in sales from their fringe players, and there are likely more departures to come. It’s not completely out of the question that City could appease whatever rando financial regulations they’ve placed on themselves as a fig leaf by selling off more players, or by including a first team player as a makeweight in any future Kane transfer.
This is absolutely, without question not the end of this saga, and there will be without a doubt further twists and turns in this tale. But if it really does come down to Grealish vs. Kane, it looks like we might know which way City are going to go.