A fee in the region of £150million has been mooted. Though it seems like an eye-watering amount, it’s the going rate for a world-class forward in the current market.
At 26, Kane has his prime years ahead of him. However, there are question marks over his fitness. Since the start of the 2016/17 campaign, he has missed 51 matches for Spurs. Ankle injuries have plagued him but, when he’s on the pitch, Kane delivers. Emphatically. He has an invaluable trait of being in the right place at the right time.
Only 12 players have more Premier League goals than Kane (136) and, if he’s able to stay fit and he remains in the English top-flight, he’s probably the only player capable of getting close to Alan Shearer’s record of 260.
United are in dire need of a reliable goalscorer if they’re to cement their place in the top four after selling Romelu Lukaku to Internazionale last summer. Anthony Martial is by no means prolific and Marcus Rashford still isn’t sure whether he’s a striker or a wide forward. The England international scores goals but gives off the impression of being a support act alongside a penalty area predator.
City, on the other hand, are the top scorers in the Premier League this season with 68 goals from their 28 matches. In Sergio Agüero, they have one of the prolific strikers around. The 31-year-old Argentine has 16 goals in 22 appearances and is well on course to surpass the 20-goal barrier for the sixth successive season in England. But he cannot go on forever.
According to reports, the Citizens are looking for a long-term successor to their No.10. Gabriel Jesus was signed with a view to doing just that but his inconsistency in front of goal has cast doubts over his suitability.
For context, the Brazilian has averaged 0.67 goals per 90 this season from an expected goals average of 0.81. He’s scoring goals but he’s also wasting opportunities. At the top level, you can’t afford to do that.
When it comes to goals, Kane is Mr Reliable. Over the past two seasons, he’s averaged 0.47 open-play goals per 90, an overperformance of 0.11 when compared to his expected goals figure.
He’s averaged 3.38 shots and 5.35 touches in the opposition box (per 90) and this while playing for a team not in their best form. Spurs reached last season’s Champions League final but domestically they lost 13 matches. It’s been a similar story this term, too, with ten defeats from their 29 Premier League games.
The team may be built around getting the best out of Kane but that isn’t necessarily a positive. It means he’s only as good as his supporting cast and if they’re struggling then, by default, he will too. In a more balanced team, Kane’s numbers would swell. And that is a scary prospect.
When looking at Kane’s shot placement map (above) for the past two seasons, you see he regularly hits the corners. It sounds obvious but just hitting the target isn’t good enough. To be an effective goalscorer you have to make the goalkeepers work and to do this you aim for the corners.
Kane has had just 16 shots on target in central areas and just two of his goals have come in those parts of the goal. He has most joy shooting to his left but the sheer volume of efforts aimed at the corner is what makes him so clinical.
If reports are accurate and the Spurs man wants to win trophies, his best bet would be to head to the Eithad. City are serial winners and despite a 2019/20 Premier League campaign to forget, they’ll be considered favourites for the title next season.
There’s no guarantee United will be challenging but they have plans in place, according to the Manchester Evening News, to bring in a few potential game-changers over the summer.
Adding a Jadon Sancho to this team along with Kane would be transformative. And Kane would be the man to spearhead their charge to the summit of English football. That project is no doubt an appealing one. His next move will be a career-defining one and he needs to make sure it suits him and his playing style, not his bank balance.
Increasing the opportunities he has will only be positive. He’ll score goals no matter where he ends up. Spending £150million on a player will never be considered value for money but if Kane scores 25 goals or more in each of the next five seasons then it’ll be money well spent at least.