Man Utd's Harry Kane pursuit highlights Red Devils' past transfer mistake

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Tottenham Hotspur ace Harry Kane is purported to be ‘curious’ about a move to Manchester United – just as he was in 2015. Unsurprisingly, it is not the first time the Red Devils have been interested in a move for the England captain.

Antonio Conte’s arrival looks to have resurrected the predatory 28-year-old and restored him to his mercurial best. Kane had contributed one goal and one assist during Nuno Espirito-Santo’s ill-fated reign in north London.

But Spurs’ decisive sacking of the former Wolves boss and almost immediate hiring of Conte has completely steered Tottenham back into Champions League contention. Kane has contributed 11 goals and five assists in Conte’s 20 Premier League matches since the former Chelsea boss took over the reins.

Tottenham’s dramatic improvement under Conte and Kane’s leadership poses a significant lesson to the Red Devils. After all, had United trusted their instincts, both Conte and Kane could have been in United Red

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Speculation never amounted to any concrete interest and United, somewhat out of the blue, instead threw £54m at Anthony Martial – a player three years his junior, with no Premier League experience and 12 less goals in the same season Kane almost fired Tottenham into the Champions League. Risk nor a reluctance to pay huge transfer fees are not the reasons why United did not shell out on Kane when they had the opportunity.

A whopping £67m was forked out on Angel Di Maria in Van Gaal’s first season, while £30m fees were also thrown at Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin. United may have been scared of negotiating with Daniel Levy, who had already made it abundantly clear that a ‘dizzying’ offer would be needed to sign Kane.

But the chances of Levy demanding a higher transfer fee than a Champions League winner like Di Maria at the time would have been slim. Any doubts United had with Kane were evidently not present during the arrivals of the Argentine winger and his Netherlands counterpart Depay.

If you were ever in search of evidence that this apparent tendency to dither and delay on key decisions remained at the club, have a look at the Tottenham Hotspur touchline and see who is standing there.

When Liverpool humiliated United in that chastening 5-0 home defeat in October, everybody was waiting for an announcement that Conte was on his way. Many believed it was the final humiliating blow in what was an already problematic season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

If reports are to be believed, even Conte was waiting on an approach from United. If United are to be successful under the next permanent manager, they need to realise that the very best in the business will not wait for United’s phone call.


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