Bayern Munich have reached an agreement to sign England captain Harry Kane from Tottenham, for a Bundesliga record fee of more than 100 million euros ($110 million), reports said on Thursday.
But just hours after news of the deal emerged, British media reported it may fall through as Kane is now leaning towards staying at Spurs.
Talks between the two clubs had been ongoing for several weeks, as Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy pushed for a higher fee, aware that Kane could leave on a free at the end of his current contract in 2024.
Bayern had reportedly submitted their final bid for the 30-year-old striker in recent days, breaking through the 100-million-euro barrier for the first time.
The Athletic reported the deal between the two clubs first, and was followed by Sky Sports and several other British and German media.
But not long afterwards, The Sun reported that Kane could “sensationally snub” Bayern while Sky said he was “leaning towards staying in north London”.
Six-time European champions Bayern have been historically more reluctant to spend big on transfer fees than many of their European rivals.
The reported figure of over 100 million euros well exceeds their club record transfer outlay of 80 million euros paid in 2019 for French defender Lucas Hernandez. Hernandez left Bayern for Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year for 45 million euros.
Bayern have been on the lookout for a striker since the departure of star forward Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona at the end of the 2021-22 season.
The club won the Bundesliga in each of the Pole’s eight seasons in Munich, with Lewandowski scoring 344 goals in 375 appearances.
The Bavarians struggled in Lewandowski’s absence last season.
– Top England goalscorer –
During his eight years in Munich, Lewandowski averaged 30 goals per season. In 2022-23, not one Bayern player hit the 15 league goal mark.
They were eliminated by eventual winners Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and won the Bundesliga title on goal difference after a final-day capitulation from Borussia Dortmund.
Kane has scored more than 20 league goals in all but three of the past nine Premier League seasons, winning the golden boot on three occasions.
Despite finishing second in last season’s Premier League scoring charts behind Erling Haaland (36), Kane netted 30 league goals in 2022-23, equalling his best mark.
England’s record goalscorer, Kane played a major role in the country’s journey back from the international wilderness to regular contenders for major tournament glory.
However he is yet to win a major trophy for club or country — something that could change if he joins Bayern.
Kane joined Tottenham’s academy youth academy in 2009 but in his early career many doubted he would ever make it at the highest level.
Mauricio Pochettino, then in the early days of his successful spell as Tottenham boss, trusted Kane’s potential enough to select him regularly in the 2014-15 season.
Kane repaid Pochettino’s gamble with a barrage of goals which quickly gained him international recognition.
He exploded into a global star at the 2018 World Cup in Russia where, as captain, the striker led England to the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.
But some in Germany have lamented the price tag for Kane and seen Bayern’s efforts to sign him as signalling problems in the Bundesliga.
The huge sum is “for a player whose contract expires next year. And who would then be available free of charge,” read a comment piece earlier this week in Bild.
It would be an “indictment” of “German football as a whole,” it said.
“Why haven’t we been able to develop talented centre forwards ourselves for years? We used to have a plethora of them.”