Football may be paused worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the whirling of the rumour mill.
Every day new transfer stories are being reported as clubs continue to work behind the scenes for when football finally returns after this crisis comes to an end.
And one big recent rumour is the potential transfer of Harry Kane from Tottenham to Manchester United, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reportedly willing to cash in on the England captain for £200million.
If this deal goes through for said price it will enter the record books as the most expensive transfer in the history of world football, surpassing the £198m deal which took Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Some reports, however, claim Spurs are NOT willing to sell Kane to Man United, or any of their Premier League rivals – even for a world record fee.
So Kane may or may not break the world transfer record over the next few months, but who joins him on the list of players who could soon become the most expensive stars in world football?
Take a look below to find out…
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Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
England’s brightest starlet currently plays in Germany where he has made a real name for himself. The 20-year-old’s form in the Bundesliga has been truly remarkable, especially this season as Sancho has scored 17 goals and created a further 19 in only 35 appearances.
It has been expected for quite a few months now that Sancho will eventually return to the Premier League to prove himself in his homeland, and the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all keen on the young winger, who has won 11 caps for the Three Lions.
He is also being linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona, however, and it is likely a bidding war will commence when the transfer window finally reopens.
Though Dortmund are said to be seeking around £120m for Sancho, this bidding war could drive his value up – maybe even past the £200m mark!
And given Sancho’s remarkable rise to stardom, it’s hard to disagree that he is worth such a high price.
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
France superstar Mbappe – who is still only 21, remember – currently ranks second on the list of the most expensive transfers in football history.
And it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him overtake Neymar to top the list before too long.
In 2017 Mbappe joined PSG on loan from Monaco with a future transfer agreement meaning he moved to Paris permanently the following summer for around £116m. This fee is still £82m short of what PSG paid for Neymar, but Mbappe’s form in the French capital over the past few years has surely made his market value fly higher than his teammate’s. In fact, the CIES Football Observatory value Mbappe as the most expensive player in world football, at more than €250m (£219m).
If he was to move for that fee, Mbappe would smash Neymar’s existing transfer record with ease.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic halting football worldwide, ‘Raheem Sterling to Real Madrid’ was being set up as one of the key transfer sagas of the summer window. The 25-year-old was quizzed on a move to the Bernabeu earlier this year and called Los Blancos a ‘fantastic club’, even being pictured with a Real Madrid shirt in Spanish newspaper AS.
The rumours of a move to Spain surfaced shortly after Man City were banned from European football for two years due to FFP, though the reigning Premier League champions have appealed to CAS and await the outcome. If the ban is upheld City could lose many of their key players – Sterling included.
Real are big fans of the England winger, but he certainly will not come cheap. Towards the end of last year he was valued by the CIES Football Observatory at around £223m, and Man City may demand an even higher transfer fee given the player is contracted until 2023 and is even more valuable to them as he helps fill their homegrown quota.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Sterling is not the only Premier League star wanted by Real Madrid, as Los Blancos are also hoping to tempt Liverpool ace Mane to the Bernabeu. Mane has been perhaps the Premier League’s best player this season, and he’s been linked with Real consistently over the past few years.
And having already been crowned European and world champions with Liverpool, there is a growing feeling Mane could leave Anfield once the Reds are officially confirmed as English champions whenever football returns after the coronavirus pandemic.
But as a key player contracted to Liverpool until 2023 Real Madrid will be forced to splash the cash to capture Mane. The Senegal international is valued at more than £100m by Transfermarkt, but this seems well below a realistic transfer fee given just how good Mane has been this season.
I mean, given his brilliance, Liverpool would hate losing Mane even for a world record transfer fee!
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
About this time last year no one had even heard of Erling Haaland – let alone suspected he would eventually be a contender to break the world transfer record. But this change in reputation says so much about the forward’s remarkable rise to prominence over the past 12 months which has seen him go from a nobody to househould name in double time.
He started the 2019/20 season with Red Bull Salzburg and after scoring 28 goals in just 22 matches – including eight in six Champions League games – the 19-year-old moved to Borussia Dortmund for a budget £17m fee. The Germans triggered Haaland’s release clause despite interest from European giants like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, and their decision to sign the forward was instantly rewarded; Haaland has made only 11 appearances for BVB but already scored 12 goals!
The interest in Haaland from United, Barcelona and Real Madrid remains, however, and it is expected he won’t spend too long with Dortmund before sealing another transfer. And BVB are sure to make a massive profit on the £17m they paid for him with fees of over £100m already being mooted.
Could he go for more than £200m and break the transfer record though? Give it another year and the answer to that question will surely be a resounding ‘YES’.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Seemingly the player on this list nearest to breaking the world transfer record, rumours have already surfaced concerning Kane possibly leaving Spurs for £200m. Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, is reportedly ready to sanction the sale of Kane to Manchester United, who have long been interested in the England captain.
The fee is considered a response to the coronavirus pandemic, with Tottenham to cash in on Kane because of worries over the financial fallout of the crisis; Spurs have more worries than most other Premier League clubs as they are still paying off their £1billion stadium.
Kane has scored nearly 200 goals for Tottenham and has been linked with Man United since his breakthrough season in 2014/15. And despite Marcus Rashford enjoying a promising campaign himself, the Red Devils have struggled in the striking department for quite a while and would never reject the chance to sign one of the best centre-forwards in world football.