‘Bruised’ Ten Hag ‘prepared’ to risk Kane free agent ploy with stance on Real Madrid move revealed

Jason Soutar
Harry Kane takes a penalty

Manchester United are reportedly reluctant to get dragged into a summer-long saga for Tottenham striker Harry Kane having been left ‘bruised’ by last year’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.

Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag has made the signing of a new No. 9 his top priority and believes he can tempt stubborn Spurs chairman Daniel Levy into a sale this summer.

Kane is out of contract next summer, giving Levy a huge decision to make with the 29-year-old able to leave the club for nothing in 2024.

Reports suggest Ten Hag is eager to make a move quickly in order to avoid a painful transfer saga, which is bound to end in tears given Levy’s reputation.

United are not the only team in for Kane, with Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and much more concretely, Real Madrid believed to be keen.

Karim Benzema has officially left Los Blancos, freeing up the No. 9 spot and shirt, and Kane is regarded as the perfect man to replace the Frenchman.

READ MORE: Harry Kane leads European team of the season with no Champions League football in 23/24

A report from The Athletic has given a lot of information on the England captain’s situation, with it claimed he is ‘open’ to a move to the Bernabeu, given Real Madrd’s ‘prestige’, despite wanting to become the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer ahead of Alan Shearer.

It is confirmed that Madrid are interested in signing Kane, but they could be priced out of a move after agreeing to pay £86million for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Furthermore, they remain keen on signing Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, who is out of contract next year and came close to joining the Spanish giants in 2022.

The report adds that Bayern Munich and PSG have both ‘been in touch’ with Spurs regarding the 29-year-old striker.

Focusing on Manchester United, it is stated that Ten Hag believes Kane is the ‘ideal’ player to lead the line at Old Trafford and the Dutch manager thinks his side have a ‘genuine chance’ of completing the signing.

This is despite Levy not considering the idea of selling his star man to a Premier League rival and with United ‘bruised’ by their painful chase for the signature of Barcelona midfielder De Jong, the Red Devils’ hierarchy have ‘privately expressed reluctance to get drawn into a prolonged negotiation’.

There is a belief that Levy ‘has to sell this summer’ but is willing to drag talks out until the end of August.

United are also ‘prepared to wait until Kane is a free agent in 2024’ with a Spurs extension ‘not expected’ to materialise.

Unsurprisingly, Ten Hag is ‘exploring’ other strikers with Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund also a target.

Ten Hag has already spoken to Hojlund, who has been “distracted” by the transfer rumours, according to Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini.

Gasperini said last month: “He did very well after the first (part of the season), then he was called up to the national team and too many rumours distracted him, then there was the (hip) injury.”