The transfer window has not yet opened but Harry Kane is already the transfer saga of summer 2021.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker wants a move in order to help start filling up his personal trophy cabinet - but chairman Daniel Levy does not want to sell.
If this situation is going to turn in Kane's favour, plenty of pieces need to fall into place. Here we break down the factors that are important in order for Kane to leave Spurs...
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A formal transfer request
A formal transfer request has not gone in yet but sources say Kane is willing to go that far if this situation drags on.
The fact he has asked for a transfer this summer did not come as a total surprise to figures at the top of the club - what did surprise them was the tone of his interview with Gary Neville, released on Wednesday.
Within the interview Kane spoke of wanting to pursue trophy ambitions, being at a crossroads and hoping that Levy understands his views. Yet he already knew Levy’s stance and the club’s vision of what is to come. To be frank, the interview has not been well received.
Kane wants the club to give him some encouragement that a deal is possible before Euro 2020 begins - yet there is little reason for Levy to give such assurances. Traditionally he is not a man for mixing business with sentiment.
Kane and his agent, brother Charlie, are going to have to have to aggressively drive this push out of Tottenham.
A huge transfer offer
For months now a figure of £150 million has been attached to Kane in many media outlets, yet that figure should be taken with a pinch of salt. Levy wants more than £150m if Kane is going to leave Spurs.
Sources indicate that anyone who enquires about his availability will be told their offer will need to be closer to the £200m mark.
In Kane's interview he spoke about the fact he would not hold this kind of value further down the line but in Spurs' eyes that does not necessarily matter.
One year from now they would have had time to find a replacement and also hope the financial landscape is more settled. There would also be the possibility of Kane leading Spurs back to the Champions League, which is worth about £50m in itself. So if Kane was to stay another year, then leave for £100m in 2022, they would probably see it as a better situation.
An offer close to £200m though? Becoming the second most expensive player in the world, behind Neymar, would persuade Levy to cash in.
Image credit: Getty Images
A club that can actually afford him
Kane seems to have his heart set on joining Manchester City but they do not have a track record of spending huge sums on one player. They have been particularly keen not to go near the £100m mark... so to go above and beyond that seems unlikely. Even if coming up with the cash is not impossible.
Man United and Chelsea are both capable of coming up with the funds too, yet doing so is not probable. There is also the added factor of paying Kane a contract worth in advance of £300,000 a week over four or five years.
With his recent injury record, and as he nears the age of 30, there would be little resale value to come and it seems risky from a business perspective.
Levy doesn’t want to sell him to an English club and Paris Saint-Germain seem the most likely club on the continent that could sign him.
The player has never shown a particular desire to play abroad though and winning Ligue 1 is probably not the dream he has in mind.
A replacement striker
How can you replace Kane? It’s not just the goals but the leadership and the iconic status he built with the club.
If Kane was to leave Spurs then it would only be if a new forward was already lined up. At this stage it’s important to note that Spurs have not begun that search because Levy is of the mind that Kane won’t be leaving.
But in the coming weeks you will see various names linked so here is a few worth getting familiar with: Olivier Giroud, Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Moussa Dembele.
A new manager
This is the absolute priority for Levy at the moment.
Everyone is talking about Kane leaving but the chairman knows that can not be his focus right now. He needs to quickly sort out who will be in charge of the team next season.
The search has not gone particularly well so far. Brendan Rodgers has dismissed the possibility and Julian Nagelsmann has chosen Bayern Munich instead.
They are not close to making an appointment and a new name could yet come into the frame.
Of course, the status of the next manager will have some bearing in proving to Kane the club’s ambition. Bring in a boss, like Gareth Southgate, who Kane knows, respects and believes in, and there might be a better chance of keeping him.
So far though, Kane has heard what Levy had to say about the search - and is not convinced he will benefit from staying, regardless who gets it.
Kane will continue his push to leave Spurs. Last summer, Levy and Jose Mourinho persuaded him to stay and he regrets that.
This time he has had enough. He wants to leave. The main problem is that the situation is not totally in his control.
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