Manchester United have never looked more unlikely to sign Harry Kane after Erik ten Hag’s wish to sign the Tottenham striker was completed ruled out by the Red Devils hierarchy.
The United manager is looking to bolster his frontline this summer as he looks to improve on an excellent first season in charge. Indeed, with Wout Weghorst and potentially Anthony Martial likely to move on, United could even look to bring in two new centre forwards.
As a result, Manchester United have found themselves linked with a plethora of strikers this summer. Indeed, the likes of Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane represent Grade A options for United; both come with premium prices too.
However, their list of options also has Rasmus Hojlund, Randal Kolo Muani and Goncalo Ramos as alternatives. To that end, this feature compares all the stats of the major striker targets United are looking at.
If United were to go down the tried and tested route, then surely a move for Kane makes the most sense. At 29, the striker has enjoyed another excellent season on a personal level. Scoring 32 times in 49 appearances, Kane is now Tottenham’s all-time leading goalscorer.
He has also set a new mark for England an international level. To that end, he scored his 56th goal for his country on Friday night as Malta were beaten 4-0.
Any deal for the talismanic frontman would not come cheap. And while he has just a year left on his deal, Tottenham would still demand a fee in the region of £100m.
Sensing an opening, Ten Hag has reportedly made the signing of Kane his number one objective this summer.
Ten Hag overruled in Man Utd chase for Harry Kane
However, United know all too well about how tough dealing with Daniel Levy will be. And amid claims the Tottenham chairman would simply refuse to sell Kane to United, Red Devils chiefs are reportedly deciding against a move.
As a result, other options are now reportedly under consideration ahead of Kane by United.
That will come as a disappointment for Ten Hag, however.
Providing meat on the bones, The Athletic journalist David Ornstein explains how Ten Hag is being overruled.
“Signing a new striker is Manchester United’s priority for the summer. Manager Erik ten Hag wants Harry Kane, but I don’t think everyone at United feels the same.
“Despite Kane turning 30 next month and entering the last year of his Tottenham contract, it would still take a huge fee to land him. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy doesn’t want to sell, and especially not to one of their direct domestic rivals.
“As my colleague, Laurie Whitwell, reported on Wednesday, United have decided against making an official approach for Kane.
“Other options include Rasmus Hojlund of Atalanta, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Napoli’s new Serie A champion Victor Osimhen, although the latter is likely to be out of United’s reach financially. But much will depend on United’s budget. And that’s not helped by the uncertainty over their ownership.”
Man Utd chasing deal for Ollie Watkins
Amid all the uncertainty, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip provides details of a new United target in the form of Ollie Watkins.
The 27-year-old enjoyed an excellent season for Aston Villa, scoring 16 times and providing six assists from four appearances. Having played three seasons at Villa, his tally for Unai Emery’s side now reads 43 goals in 116 games.
His current deal has two years left to run and talks over an extension have been ongoing for some time. However, The Athletic now claims Watkins is emerging as a fresh target for United.
Signing the seven-times capped England star will not be easy, however. Villa are under no financial pressure to sell and Watkins is one of the first names on their teamsheet.
However, should he refuse to sign a new contract, and were United to make a concrete move, there appears a chance a deal could be struck.
Villa would likely demand a minimum of £60m for Watkins; potentially more given their lack of a wish to sell.
Nonetheless, a United approach could be forthcoming in the coming weeks. And should that happen, Ten Hag will hope the chance to play Champions League football, as well as the lure of United, will prove too strong to resist.