The almost impossible £86m Man Utd striker swoop that would break the internet

The Red Devils have been linked with a move for a top class new striker
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When the apocalypse comes, there will be three things left: cockroaches, pre-wrapped Twinkies, and transfer rumours linking Harry Kane with Manchester United. You might have been forgiven for thinking that the £86 million (or thereabouts) deal that took him to Bayern Munich last summer would have been enough to drive a wooden stake through the beating heart of any such speculation, but here we find ourselves, not nine months later, and already the chatter has begun to rear its thick skull once again.

To the casual eye, Kane looks to be fairly settled in Bavaria. Sure, Bayern trail Xabi Alonso's sickeningly debonair Bayer Leverkusen by 10 points at the top of the Bundesliga, and the England captain himself may have been on a relatively barren run in 2024 (prior to this week, of course, when he scored five times in two outings), but all in all, the 30-year-old has taken to life on the continent with ease. So far this term, he has 36 goals and 11 assists in 34 outings across all competitions, and is well on course to win the European Golden Boot.

But still, in the rampant opinions of certain gossip mongers, that might not be enough for Kane. Reports suggest that the striker could be open to the prospect of a return to the Premier League in the coming months, and according to transfer insider Dean Jones, if he were to become available, United would go all out to lure him to Old Trafford.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, the journalist said: 'If United are going to sign a striker then Kane is as good as it gets. So we know there's admiration for him and they do still hold some interest. At the moment, I wouldn't have huge expectations around it. If Kane is genuinely unsettled, as some reports have suggested, and he wants to return to England, then you have to make sure you're in the loop as to is it possible to sign him, and Man Utd will do that.

'But let's face it, there is very little sign at the moment of Man United signing a player for mega money. So even if his situation does start to open up, it's still going to be difficult to sign him. They would do everything possible to make it happen if they saw potential, but it's hugely difficult to do.'

In other words, don't get your hopes up, United fans. Bayern don't want to sell, the Red Devils don't necessarily have the money to buy, and despite suggestions to the contrary, Kane himself could be perfectly content in Munich for all we know. A transfer this summer feels almost impossible.

And yet, imagine if it did come to fruition; Harry Kane, prodigal son, back in England after a season on the mainland, the cultured traveller with a newfound appreciation for bratwurst and lederhosen, kitted out in the blood red of a club who few truly believed he would ever actually play for. It would break the internet.

Perhaps more significantly still, however, it would represent the biggest statement of intent that Sir Jim Ratcliffe could possibly make in his new role at Old Trafford. It is no secret that United need/want/yearn for a centre forward of immense pedigree to ease the burden on emerging wunderkind Rasmus Hojlund, and fewer boast the kind of star power that Kane possesses. To sign him would be to properly announce United's resurgence as a serious powerhouse of the English game, and his arrival would bring with it the smoke of an ignited bonfire, rather than that of an extinguished candle.

The likelihood is, of course, that it will not happen. Every fibre of rationality in your being tells you as much. But while the sun still burns in the sky, and while Kane actively chooses to lace up his boots every Saturday afternoon in exchange for a weekly wage, there remains the faintest possibility that it might. They do say it is the hope that kills you...