Man Utd fear £30m ‘risk’ as shock Kane U-turn sees Spurs make Levy look stupid with ‘ultimatum’

Matt Stead
Spurs fans hold up a banner against Man Utd
Daniel Levy's lifelong quest to not be the person who loses Harry Kane could be in jeopardy

Spurs have issued the least effective ultimatum in history by telling Man Utd target Harry Kane he will be sold if he does not sign a new deal this summer.

Kane has 12 months remaining on the prohibitive six-year contract he signed with Spurs in June 2018, meaning the club must either sell the striker now or in January if they wish to receive any sort of fee.

Despite his weakened negotiating position, chairman Daniel Levy seems reluctant to sanction the sale of his star player and two offers from Bayern Munich, of around £60m and £70m, have been rejected, with a third record-breaking bid thought to be imminent.

The Bundesliga champions are considering offering more than Spurs’ record sale, which remains the £85m deal to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in 2013, but is it thought that a valuation exceeding £100m has been placed on the England captain.

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But the prospect of Kane being sold this summer has reignited after it emerged that Spurs had given the 29-year-old an ‘ultimatum’.

Various reports suggest that Kane has been told to sign the £400,000-a-week contract renewal on offer with the north London club or else he will be moved on, as Spurs owner Joe Lewis is refusing to lose such a prized asset for free.

In other words, Spurs have finally given Kane precisely what he actually wants: control over his future. Poor bloke. Just imagine Levy trying to issue him this warning.

David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror reports that ‘Lewis has told Levy to either make Kane sign a contract extension or sell him in this transfer window,’ completely undermining the Spurs chairman’s summer-long stance of keeping the player at all costs.

This surprise U-turn has predictably reintroduced Man Utd to the equation after a ‘disappointed’ Erik ten Hag withdrew his interest in the dream signing to pursue more ‘realistic’ targets.

The difficulty in extracting Kane from Spurs due to Levy’s reluctance in dealing with direct Premier League rivals saw Man Utd turn their attentions to Atalanta forward Rasmus Hojlund.

A softening of attitudes from Spurs might lead to Man Utd revisiting a move, but the costs are still likely to prove excessive.

Two outlets report that the club would have to completely dismantle their wage structure to bring Kane in on a contract worth £30m a year.

That is still less than Jordan Henderson, mind. But a £577,000-a-week deal would be far more than any other Man Utd player currently earns.

Marcus Rashford recently improved his terms to around £325,000 a week, while Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Casemiro are thought to earn similar figures.

Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford and Spurs forward Harry Kane playing for England
England pair Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane could soon be Man Utd teammates

Kane taking home not far off double the amount of any prospective Man Utd teammate per year could create issues in the dressing room, with The Sun claiming Ten Hag ‘is keen to avoid one player earning considerably more than anyone else’.

Those claims are corroborated by The Guardian, who report on ‘concerns regarding how that could be counterproductive to the team spirit’ Ten Hag has built since taking over.

The Times also say Man Utd would not want to ‘shatter their wage structure’ for two reasons: Financial Fair Play rules and the ‘risk’ of destabilising the dressing room.

Ten Hag was thought to be keen to introduce a ‘Ronaldo rule’ at Old Trafford to prevent any player earning considerably more than his teammates, and Kane could subsequently be ruled out as an option.