Tottenham Hotspur’s underwhelming 2022/23 season has led to intensified speculation about Harry Kane’s future at the club where he has spent his entire career.
The England captain and three-time Golden Boot winner is in his prime as he approaches his 30th birthday in July and would be a deadly option for any leading club in the world, while Spurs will be desperate to keep hold of their most prolific player.
Kane’s contract ends at the end of the 2023/24 campaign, meaning a move would almost certainly have to happen by the start of next season if Spurs are to cash in.
The decision to relieve coach Antonio Conte of his duties could also have a significant impact on Kane’s plans.
Here’s the latest on Kane’s potential departure, as well as how likely it looks that he will stay at the club and the implications of his next move.
Will Harry Kane stay at Tottenham?
Kane was said to be open to beginning negotiations over a contract extension once the transfer window closes in England at the end of January 2023, according to transfer news expert David Ornstein.
No serious discussions had been held by Kane’s representatives about leaving the club, Ornstein wrote in The Athletic, adding that Kane will continue at Tottenham if his conditions are met.
Kane’s expectations could include doubling his weekly wage to £400,000 ($495,000), which he was said to have sought after Manchester City’s move for him fell through in August 2021.
Speaking after his goal secured a 1-0 win at Fulham and saw him equal Jimmy Greaves' goalscoring record for Spurs, Kane said: “There’s not been much talk if I’m totally honest. I’m sure there’ll be conversations over the coming months but to be honest I’m just focused on this season and doing my best for the team.”
The speculation over Kane’s future has intensified following Antonio Conte’s dismissal as Spurs manager on March 26.
Conte launched a critical outburst following a 3-3 Premier League draw against rock-bottom Southampton on March 18 in which he slammed the players for a perceived inability to compete under pressure, and the club for allowing a culture of not winning trophies to develop.
Conte has now left the club, with assistant coach Cristian Stellini put in temporary charge for the rest of the season. The next permanent Spurs manager will be charged with reviving the squad, and pushing for honours; whether Kane wants to remain at the club for that new era is uncertain.
Harry Kane to Man United? Explaining Premier League transfer options
United are the team to have been most consistently linked with Kane and, as the established biggest spenders in the Premier League before Chelsea’s colossal outlay this season, they could be the most willing to pay his purported transfer fee of at least £100m ($123m).
Tottenham wanted £150m ($184m) when City tried to capture Kane but the dwindling length of his contract means Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would have to listen to lower bids if no new terms are agreed.
The surprise arrival of Netherlands targetman Wout Weghorst on loan from second-tier Burnley showed that United want a No.9 — ideally one capable of becoming the first player since Robin van Persie in 2012/13 to score more than 18 Premier League goals for them in a season. Manager Erik ten Hag is a fan of Anthony Martial, but the France international’s persistent injury problems this season has meant the club is likely to make signing a striker a priority in 2023.
According to a report in the Manchester Evening News on March 10, Ten Hag has earmarked Kane as his priority striker target for the summer. United are considered the only realistic Premier League option for the player if he leaves Spurs, and they could find themselves in a head-to-head battle with Bayern Munich to sign the England star, the report says.
If Spurs fail to finish in the Champions League places, having already seen their trophy hopes for the season extinguished, this could be Kane’s best opportunity to attempt a new challenge. However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is notoriously intransigent when it comes to clubs attempting to sign his best players, and United have not bought a player directly from Spurs since Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.
With a Kane deal far from certain, United have been looking at 24-year-old Napoli forward Victor Osimhen, the top scorer for the runaway Serie A leaders this season.
However, Napoli’s valuation of Osimhen at €100 million (£88m / $109m) minimum lost the Nigeria international his place at the top of United’s wishlist, according to Sky Sport transfer reporter Florian Plettenberg. They are also likely to face competition to sign the player in the form of Chelsea.
City’s investment of £51.2m ($63m) to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund last summer was repaid by 25 goals and three assists during the first half of the season — nine more goals than Kane, and a rate that put the Norway sensation on course to comfortably break the individual record of 34 goals in a single Premier League season.
That record is held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, and the Newcastle heroes' former side would also be one of the few clubs capable of meeting a vast price for Kane because of their new-found riches since being taken over by a consortium backed by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia in 2021.
Shearer set the Premier League individual goals record of 260 while he was at St James' Park after a previous prolific spell with Blackburn Rovers. Kane reached 200 with the only goal of the game against Manchester City on February 5, which also moved him ahead of Greaves at the top of Tottenham’s all-time list with 267.
Has Harry Kane won any trophies?
Kane has not won any trophies at the club where he made his senior debut in 2011.
He came closest to glory when Tottenham lost to Liverpool in the 2018/19 Champions League final and has been an EFL Cup runner-up twice.
It is a stark contrast to Kane’s individual honours, which include winning the Golden Boot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, being named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year five times and becoming the top-flight Player of the Month seven times alongside those three prizes for top scorer in the division.
The highest Tottenham have finished in the Premier League with Kane for company is second in 2016/17, when they ended seven points behind Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino, the manager responsible for their run to the Champions League final.
It’s obviously an extremely divisive topic given the fact that trophies are the be all and end all of success in so many supporters minds these days but for me, Harry Kane doesn’t need a title or cups to go down as one of the English game’s true greats.— HLTCO (@HLTCO) January 24, 2023
His numbers are mad. pic.twitter.com/LnWa6ywzpK
The dilemma for Kane appears to be whether he stays at Tottenham or makes a move that would give him a greater chance of avoiding an exceptional career ending without a club trophy.
In 2019/20 and 2020/21, Tottenham matched and then beat their worst finishes in a decade by coming sixth and seventh under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, who was sacked towards the end of the latter campaign and replaced after a lengthy delay by Nuno Espirito Santo.
City’s move for Kane came as Tottenham’s malaise deepened during Santo’s brief reign at the start of the 2021/22 season, but the Spurs talisman has been more settled under the fiery management of Conte, a Premier League champion during his time in charge of Chelsea.
Conte initially improved Tottenham but they have struggled to find the consistency required to compete for the title. Three recent results have been particularly damaging to their season — a 1-0 loss to Championship Sheffield United in the FA Cup, a 1-0 league defeat at Wolves, and a 0-0 draw with AC Milan that saw them knocked out of the Champions League — and Conte’s outburst following the draw with Southampton was the final straw.
If Kane seriously considers leaving Spurs and the Premier League in search of silverware, there is always the possibility that he will follow the well-trodden path among leading English stars of joining Spanish sides Real Madrid or Barcelona.
A move to Madrid would depend greatly upon whether the reigning La Liga champions succeed in their long pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe.
Barca’s well-documented financial troubles have included struggling to push on with targeting players because of wage bill rules, but their willingness to pull their economic ‘levers’ — selling assets to allow themselves greater room to manoeuvre — has helped them to remain powerful movers in the market. That said, they already have Robert Lewandowski as a No.9.
Julian Nagelsmann, who was Bayern Munich coach before his surprise sacking this month, spoke about Kane before the start of the 2022/23 season, when Bild reported that the German giants had not been discouraged upon making contact with his representatives.
“He’s very expensive — that’s the problem,” Nagelsmann was quoted by the outlet to have said. “But he is a brilliant player — one of two or three who can play as a centre-forward [as well as a] No.10, but he’s very strong, brilliant with his head and both feet.
“He could score a lot in the Bundesliga. I don’t know the price but it’s really tough for Bayern Munich. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
Kane would almost certainly have to forego that Premier League goals record if he moves abroad, but Conte’s comments about the forward after a match at Fulham suggested he wanted to stay at Spurs — at least, while Conte was manager.
“He loves Tottenham,” he said. “Tottenham is in his heart. It should be good if, together, we were able to win something.
“I’d like to help him and his teammates to try to do something important, to win something with Tottenham.”