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Let’s talk about those Harry Kane to Bayern rumors

The rumor is silly. It’s also somewhat plausible.

England Nations League Camp Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

If you follow Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumors — and you’re reading this blog, so of course you do — you’ve probably encountered a few... well, let’s call them “spurious” rumors linking Spurs homegrown superstar Harry Kane with a move to Bayern Munich, possibly as soon as this summer. These rumors first emerged from the wilds of bat country at the beginning of September, usually as weird “sources say” reports in various transfer trackers and in the worst of the English tabloid rags that we (almost) never link to.

The crux of the rumor is this: Bayern is going to try and tempt Kane with a blockbuster move to Munich next summer when Kane enters the last year of his current contract at Spurs. Tottenham have been slow-walking talks of a possible contract extension for Kane, but nothing appears imminent, and Bayern would attempt to take advantage of that to negotiate a (slightly) cut-rate deal for a then-30 year old Kane.

So what’s changed today? Nothing really, except that there’s a new report saying essentially the same thing in, which is perhaps a slight tick up in reliability from the Daily Mail (but not THAT big). Stories like this are almost as inevitable as the tides, especially after the 2021 saga linking Kane with a move to Manchester City that resulted me posting a whole bunch of articles with jokes about motorcycles and header photos of Harry falling over. There was even a recent rumor about Todd Boehly wanting to bring Kane to Chelsea!

So is a story in September about Kane possibly heading to Bayern a good rumor? No. But is it a plausible rumor? Well... yeah, it might be. So we should talk about it, because while this rumor feels like a background hum, I have a feeling this might not go away.

First, I want to be clear that I am not advocating that Spurs sell Harry Kane, either to Bayern or elsewhere. But, we should acknowledge that there are basically two options for Kane and Tottenham this season — either Spurs offer and Kane accepts a new contract that keeps him at Spurs beyond 2024, or they don’t/he doesn’t. Both seem like reasonable possibilities at this point. There’s been a lot of background chatter about how Kane is very happy playing under Antonio Conte the past two seasons, and that he is open to discussing a new contract at Spurs. Should Harry decide that he wants to remain at Spurs until the very end of his career, he’ll sign a new deal and that’s the end of the story — quick, easy, (relatively) painless. But we haven’t seen much about that yet, and barring further information we quickly leave solid ground and into the marshy landscape of unfounded rumor.

There’s also the open question about both Kane’s and Tottenham’s long-term motivation. Spurs are definitely headed in the right direction under Conte and this could be the best opportunity for the club to lift silverware in a long time. But Kane is also chasing down Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ leading goal scorer, and is within reasonable striking distance of catching Alan Shearer as the Premier League’s top scorer. He might catch Greavsie, but leaving the Premier League would end any chance he has of getting ahead of Shearer. And we don’t know how achieving any of his individual or team goals at Tottenham will affect his decision-making. Will winning a cup — or (whispers) the league — make him more or less likely to leave Spurs? We don’t know.

My guess is that regardless Spurs will decide on whether to offer a contract sometime this season, and Kane will then decide whether he wants to sign it. And should either not happen, Tottenham would sell him this coming summer — as unpopular a decision as it would be to the fans, the club no longer has the leverage it did in 2021 and it would be much preferable to sell him while he still commands value than to let him leave on a free transfer, likely to another Premier League club, in 2024.

We know that there are only a handful of destinations for Kane should the club decide to sell him. Manchester City is one of them, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Pundits will mention the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, but I can’t see the club selling Kane to either of them (or to City, barring a ridiculous fee) and I can’t see Kane wanting to head to a club where he’d be essentially in the same position where he is at Spurs. It should also be noted that there haven’t been any links liking Kane to either Barca or Madrid.

That leaves Bayern. Titles aren’t an issue in Munich, as Bayern have dominated that league since the Obama administration. I have no doubt that Bayern Munich is interested in Harry Kane. A move for Kane in the last year of his contract also kind of fits with the Bayern transfer ethos — they don’t make splashy mega-millions signings that often, but certainly like to hang around the fringes of a lot of deals in the event they’re able to make a discounted move for a big star. I can see Kane being a plus add under virtually any manager at Bayern Munich, and it gets him out of Spurs and at a club where Tottenham don’t really have to worry about him unless they face them in the Champions League.

Moreover, it would also make sense for Kane (and his brother Charlie) to keep their options open in the short to medium term. It certainly doesn’t hurt them to play the field, even if Harry wants to stay at Spurs. The Brothers Kane now hold a considerably larger share of the leverage now that Harry doesn’t have four years left on his contract, and it’s good and smart business for Kane to make sure his options remain open. A reasonable outcome to all of this is either a new short term Tottenham contract with a release clause low enough to tempt a mega-club should they come calling, or a big-money move abroad that costs Spurs their talisman but leaves them with money with which they can reinvest into the squad.

And if you’re Bayern, why not sow some seeds early on and hope that they grow into something they can harvest? They have nothing to lose here. Worst case scenario is Tottenham and Kane shut it down via a contract extension. Best case scenario is they get the best English striker in the past 30 years to come to Germany for a reasonable(ish) transfer fee.

So yes, this rumor is premature. It’s unsourced and a little silly. But it’s also plausible, even if it isn’t likely.

Losing Harry Kane would be a big loss. The emotional toll would be even higher. You can make an argument based on financial prudence that this summer would be a good time to sell Kane whether or not he’s pushing for it... and that argument extends out to Son Heung-Min, who turns 31 in July, as well. I’m not ready to make that argument quite yet, but Tottenham are no doubt making plans for what the club will look like after he’s gone. Hopefully that doesn’t happen this summer, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that unless Harry commits his future with a new contract soon, we can’t, or shouldn’t, rule it out.