Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Failed transfer for striker Man Utd ‘always’ wanted emerges as main Woodward regret

Samuel Bannister
Ed Woodward in the stands

Ed Woodward has major regrets about failing to sign Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane for Manchester United, a report has revealed.

Woodward was not a popular figure for Man Utd fans and is about to leave the club. After serving as their executive vice-chairman, he will be standing down in January. But he will be leaving with unfinished business.

According to ESPN, Woodward regrets not being able to sign Kane during his tenure. The England captain has spent the entirety of his career as a Tottenham player, apart from a few loan spells away earlier in his career.

Regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, Kane has scored 170 goals in the Premier League. Four of those have come against Man Utd. But if Woodward had his way, many more would have come for the club.

The report claims Kane has “always” been a top target for Man Utd if available. The trouble is, Tottenham have been “one step ahead” thanks to how Daniel Levy has negotiated Kane’s contracts.

The 28-year-old is currently tied down to a deal until 2024, which he signed in 2018. In fact, Levy has never let him run into the final two years of a deal, which would have put them at risk of losing him.

They are about to face such a dilemma and could have concerns after warding off interest from Manchester City last summer. But for now, Kane continues to represent Spurs. And if anyone takes him to Man Utd, it won’t be Woodward.

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There is a chance he will remain on their radar, though. The report suggests United will be “active” to find a new centre-forward in the summer.

Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo are currently their options to lead the line. But both are in their mid-30s and Cavani has an expiring contract anyway.

It is a position they will need to evolve and an opportunity may arise to land Kane. But only time will tell how serious they get in their potential pursuit.

Tottenham placed a £150m price tag on Kane when dissuading City in the summer. However, ESPN feel other suitors can “exploit” the situation as his contract ticks down.

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Conte glad Levy kept Harry Kane

Earlier this week, Tottenham manager Antonio Conte lauded chairman Daniel Levy for his handling of the transfer saga surrounding Harry Kane in the summer.

Either side of Euro 2020, Man City ramped up their pursuit of his transfer, even after spending £100million on Jack Grealish.

Pep Guardiola’s side in fact had at least one bid worth £100million or more rejected. Kane reportedly refused to report for training in a bid to engineer a move away from the club. Those were claims the striker strongly denied.

Harry Kane warming up Tottenham ahead of Premier League game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

In any case, Levy stood firm, knowing that Spurs held all the cards over the player’s future. Kane has endured a sluggish start to the season in comparison to previous campaigns.

However, Conte has now expressed his delight at the fact that Kane remains at the club while he is in charge.

The Italian labelled the decision over Kane a “great choice” by Levy.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he added: “In this way you are showing you want to try to continue to build something important around one of the best players in your team.

“I followed the situation but now it is not right to look at the past. Now we have to live in the present, which says that Harry is a player at Tottenham and continues to be one of the best players in this team.

“He wants to give 100 per cent in every game and I am totally satisfied with his commitment and the relationship that we have created within the team.

“He is a point of reference in the dressing room and an experienced player. I am totally enthusiastic about his involvement in the team and the Tottenham project.”

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