Harry Kane has been linked with a £40 million move from Spurs to United
When Trevor Francis signed for Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City for over £1 million (it was actually £1,180,000) it absolutely smashed the previous British transfer record, which stood for a solitary month. Francis became the first ever £1 million player to play on these shores. The forward, who scored twelve goals in fifty two games for England, went on to win two European Cups with Brian Clough – the only club team ever to win a continental trophy more times than their domestic league title.
1979 seems a far cry ago, but the same criticism, shock and cynicism still apply to the expensive football transfers of the day. At the time, Paulo Rossi held the world transfer record, when he moved to Juventus – but the valuation of Francis proved to be a telling moment in British football, considering David Mills became the first half million pound player the month previous.
Since then we’ve seen Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoinge, Andy Cole, Dennis Bergkamp, Seba Veron, Rio Ferdinand, Robinho and Gareth Bale break the British transfer record (a player be transferred into or from the English top flight) with astronomical fees being exchanged. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur’s young and prolific goal scorer, has been linked with a £40million move to Manchester United – why after one brilliant season would United part with nearly half the money made from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo for a player with bags of potential but limited first team action?
Lets get this straight. Harry Kane has had a phenomenal season at White Hart Lane, bagging 32 goals in 54 appearances and at 21, looks to be a class act in the making. Tottenham fans hold him in such high regard, he got into an all time Premier League Xi when we ran our “view from the opposition”, before the 3-0 victory over Spurs in March. The boy has had a dream season, where he broke into England team and scored on his debut, but surely Louis van Gaal should pass at the £40million transfer fee?
Yes, United fans want to see top quality talent at Old Trafford, rather than funds lining the back pockets of the Glazers, but surely there is a valuation limit for such a talent? Kane looks a top forward, who hasn’t stopped scoring since opening his Premier League account last season against Aston Villa – three months after the start of the season. Quite a feat to trail Sergio Aguerro by four goals for the golden boot come the end of May. But is there a risk in United signing a player who only became a first team starter following that performance against Villa, or is the player that good, United simply cannot pass up the chance to sign him – whatever the cost?
United have a mixed bag when haggling over transfers. Eric Cantona, the talisman for United fans from 1992 until his retirement in 1997, was a ridiculous bargain at £1.1million from Leeds United. Ronaldinho would have signed for United, had negotiations not broken down at a Lyon hotel over the fact that United tried to double bluff the Parisian club and offer less than the asking price – before Barcelona swooped in.
Then of course there is the travesty of Marouane Fellaini transfer, the equivalent of trying to sneak home quietly following a night out on the town before standing on a french horn on the stairs or slipping on a banana skin and head butting the cat. United could have purchased the tall fuzzy haired Belgian for £4million less, but decided to put Ed Woodward in charge. United need to play it careful when negotiating a big transfer deal and history in recent years doesn’t bode too well.
Tottenham fans will claim that Harry Kane doesn’t need to go to United, despite the offer of Champions League football next term. The same fans will also cite a recent interview stating that he is happy where he is right now, but flattered by the interest shown in him. Cristiano Ronaldo also claimed, before United lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League final, that he was going nowhere – before signing for Real Madrid less than a month later. David De Gea hasn’t said anything on the rumours linking him with a move to the Spanish capital, but I fully expect the La Liga runners up to come calling following the long term decline of Iker Casillas.
We all know players can move, but Tottenham are in the driving seat, which is why the £40million is being branded around. Daniel Levy is a shrewd businessman, who has overseen the transfers for Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov from North London to Manchester for what, at the time, was seen as an overinflated price. Carrick has been worth every penny for United (signed for £18million in 2006), but the Berbatov transfer, for the graceful and excellent footballer that he was, was surely not worth the £30million United forked out in the summer of 2008. Levy knows if United want the player, they will have to pay big – which the club has done in previous years.
Kane has signed a five and a half year contract at the club, so why would Tottenham not sell him for any less than £40million. Ramon Calderon laughed at the suggestion Real Madrid would pay £80million for Ronaldo in the January of 2009, stating the amount was ludicrous. If you want he player and the club doesn’t want to sell, then you price him out of the reach.
Louis van Gaal will be spending this summer. The first team is in need if investment if the club is to compete at the top once again, but is Harry Kane at £40million the best signing for the club? Eden Hazard signed for Chelsea for £32million, Alexis Sanchez signed for Arsenal for £35million and Sergio Aguero signed for Manchester City for £38million.
Sanchez had proven his worth for Udinese in Serie A and of course was a top player for Barcelona who was up against some of the best players in the world for a starting berth. The fact that the club signed Neymar probably brought the price down as Barcelona tried to cash in on the star. Aguero scored over eighty goals for Atletico Madrid before signing for Manchester City and was playing first team football for some years, having replaced Fernando Torres for the Rojiblanco. Hazard, who was the same age as Kane today when he signed for Chelsea, was a first team starter for Lille and had been in the national team setup since 2008.
Harry Kane has had a fairytale season. Finishing the highest English scorer in his first full season, scoring a brace at home against Arsenal and getting his first International cap and goal. The reason for the £40million is due to this phenomenal season, but United surely will have to pass on the transfer. Rio Ferdinand, who also broke the British transfer record in 2002 when he signed from Leeds United for Manchester United, spoke out recently on the over inflated fees British players command:
English players are soooo overpriced right now it's a joke! Kane & sterling have huge potential but 40m & 50m…aguero 38m & sanchez 32m!!!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 20, 2015
When you look back and see United signed Ruud van Nistelrooy for £19million (you may refer to inflation, but remember – Christian Vieri signed for Inter Milan two years earlier for £28million) and Liverpool signed Andy Carroll for £35million, it is fair to say that English players are overpriced and for the all the potential and ability that Harry Kane possesses, United will be paying over the odds if he does indeed leave Tottenham this summer.