Manchester United and the Glazer family are desperately in search of positive PR right now in light of renewed fan anger towards the controversial American owners and the protests that saw Sunday’s Premier League game against Liverpool at Old Trafford postponed.
It is convenient, then, that the Glazers are suddenly ‘ready to sanction’ a £90m bid for Harry Kane.
It is no secret that United need a prolific striker, one of the final missing pieces to take them back to a position of challenging for the biggest honours. Edinson Cavani has been an asset, but a short-term one, while Anthony Martial looks increasingly unlikely to be that after a massive step backwards. Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, meanwhile, are better suited as wide forwards.
Kane, scorer of over 200 goals since the start of the 2014/15 season and now back to his best after injury problems in 2019 and 2020, would fit the bill perfectly. He is also the exact type of player that Sir Alex Ferguson would have wanted to sign for United once upon a time, with the legendary former manager making a habit of poaching top stars from other Premier League clubs.
There is even increasing speculation that Kane is ready to leave Tottenham, frustrated by the club’s lack of progress and failure to compete for major silverware.
But the timing of United’s supposed intention to make an offer for Kane is all a bit convenient in the wake of what has happened in recent days. The Sun story even begins by specifically stating that a £90m bid for Kane is a direct attempt from the Glazer family to ‘quash fan fury’.
It has red flags of a hollow PR exercise intended to try and repair some of the damage done by the club’s plan to join the doomed Super League, which in turn proved to be a catalyst for the latest round of protests against Glazer ownership, perhaps the loudest yet.
It is seemingly a little fishy that this story should first appear in the same newspaper where Neil Ashton, a PR adviser to United since 2020, was formerly chief football reporter, almost as though it has been deliberately fed at a time when the club needs positive spin.
Kane is almost certainly a no go this summer. His long-term contract puts Tottenham in the position of power and it has been made abundantly clear in recent weeks that they will not sell. In fact, 90min revealed last month that the only Kane deal Spurs will consider is a new contract.
Suggestions of a £90m offer is enough to get fans and the wider media talking but one that Spurs wouldn’t even give the time of day to. Their stance is that Kane isn’t for sale at all, but even previous reports of potential valuations have been close to double that figure.
United don’t even have to actually submit an offer for Kane if the story can serve as a distraction technique from other things that are currently going on. But the protests have never hit this level before and it won’t be easy to simply brush them under the rug.