All of the attention in English football is directed squarely at Harry Kane at the moment and for very good reason — with his winning goal against Manchester City on Sunday, he broke Jimmy Greaves’ longstanding record to become Tottenham Hotspur’s all-time leading goal scorer, and positioned himself to potentially challenge Alan Shearer’s record of 260 Premier League record in a few seasons.
But Kane can only eclipse the Premier League goals record if he stays in the Premier League. Kane’s Tottenham future remains very much up in the air with his existing Spurs contract expiring at the end of next season. And according to Gary Jacob in the Times of London, if Spurs do decide to sell Kane this summer or after, it will not be to a league rival.
This should not be at all surprising. Daniel Levy took a very hard line when Kane asked to be sold to Manchester City a couple of seasons ago, and the idea of strengthening another league club by selling their academy product and all-time leading scorer is a non-starter. Kane has hinted that he is ready to open negotiations with Spurs on a new contract, something that he has not done since the Manchester City move fell through. There have been and continue to be reports that Bayern Munich would be interesting in exploring a potential move for Kane, should the opportunity arise.
This puts Kane in a very interesting position. We know that Kane wants to win a trophy more than anything — it’s the one thing that has eluded him his entire career — but equally important are individual honors. Eclipsing Greaves on Sunday was a major milestone, a landmark that puts him in conversation as Tottenham’s best-ever player. With 200 league goals, Kane’s already in a position to jump ahead of Wayne Rooney (208) into second place this season, and if he can continue to score goals into his 30s, Kane now has a realistic shot of catching Shearer as well. But that’s only if he stays in the Premier League. A move to Germany would certainly give him trophies, but not Premier League individual honors.
To be sure, one option would be for Kane to decide to wind down his contract, refuse a transfer to Bayern or anywhere else, and move wherever he wants in summer 2024. That would probably be viewed as a betrayal by the Spurs fanbase and would tarnish his sterling reputation within the league. On the other hand, if he chooses to commit his future to Spurs and signs a new contract, he will go down as a Totti-like legend in North London, but with the very real possibility that he could end his career as the best English striker to never win any silverware (assuming of course that Spurs’ trophy drought continues). Can he live with that? It’s an open question.
It’s a conundrum and not one that’s likely to be resolved anytime soon. It also speaks to what kind of legacy Harry Kane wants to leave behind when he’s finally gone from the game.