The transfer saga of Harry Kane is certain to dominate plenty of column inches this summer, and its outcome could have profound effects upon the Premier League.
As the Tottenham captain signed a six year contract in 2018, his club do not have to sell for a cut price fee.
Daniel Levy will understandably look to get as much money in exchange for Kane as he possibly can, in order to help fund the squad rebuilding programme which the club needs to undertake even if their talisman were to remain in north London.
Spurs are reportedly looking for £150m in order to part with Kane, and in the crazy world of football, it is entirely possible that they might get it.
Such a fee obviously greatly limits the number of clubs who can afford to pay it. Paris Saint-Germain are one such outfit, and their manager Mauricio Pochettino moulded Kane into the player he is today.
It seems more likely that he will remain in the Premier League though. There may be Liverpool fans who would like to see Kane running out in red at Anfield next season, but the finances involved make that a very unlikely scenario.
His only realistic potential destinations in England would be to move across to London to Chelsea, or to head north and join one of the Manchester clubs. It’s no surprise that bookmakers deem them his three most likely clubs when the 2021/22 season rolls around.
The more interesting aspect of the Kane saga from Liverpool’s perspective is what purchasing him will mean for the transfer budgets of their rivals at the top of the Premier League.
Then again, with some clubs it is difficult to know what – if any – difference signing a player for north of £100m will make in the grand scheme of things.
Clubs that are owned by oligarchs or nation states do not have issues with finding funds of even those eye watering levels.
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And UEFA have relaxed their Financial Fair Play rules in light of the monetary issues which a year spent playing behind closed doors has inflicted upon clubs across the continent.
Even when the rules were in place and sanctions were issued, City showed that it is possible to successfully appeal against the decision anyway.
In this light, signing Kane wouldn’t necessarily prevent clubs from purchasing other top players to complement his undoubted talents, at least on a financial level.
But how many marquee signings can one team realistically make in a single summer? Such deals are not easy to complete.
If another club puts their energies into signing Kane, would it open up the path for Liverpool to snap up one of Europe’s other most talented players?
It’s a reasonable question to ask, but it obviously comes with it’s limitations. If the Reds can’t afford Kane (even if they did want him), his unavailability doesn’t suddenly mean that they have the money to purchase the likes of Kylian Mbappe or Jadon Sancho.
But should those types of players remain at their clubs for a further season, it buys Liverpool time to involve themselves in any future conversation.
It may also enable Liverpool to steal a march on the next tier of players too. For instance, they are deemed to be the third most likely destination for reported target Ousmane Dembele this summer, yet being behind United and Chelsea in the pecking order may not be such an issue if those clubs are busy fluttering their eyelashes at Kane.
And then there’s the next generation of players, such as Raphinha from Leeds and Patson Daka at RB Salzburg, both of which have been linked with the Reds and their Manchester rivals. Liverpool could have a free run at them if others are fighting over Kane.
It’s not impossible that while the world is distracted by the future of Harry Kane, in a busy summer which will also be dominated by Euro 2020, Liverpool can perform some sleight of hand in the transfer market and steal a march on their rivals to sign the targets they truly covet.
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