While the 2023-24 Premier League soccer season is yet to begin in the U.K., the transfer window is wide open. And unfortunately for Tottenham Hotspur supporters, Harry Kane’s name is in the news. The star striker may be Spurs’ top player, but he’s also nearing the end of his contract, drawing the attention of Bayern Munich.

The German giants have made an offer to acquire Kane—Sky Sports pegs it at €100 million or about $110 million—but it seems Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy isn’t ready to bite. There’s an obvious appeal to keeping Kane under contract, but there’s also a massive risk lurking beyond the horizon.

Let’s break it down.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur during the pre-season friendly match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 6, 2023, in England.
Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty

Kane transfer seems dead in the water

When someone (metaphorically) knocks on your door with a $110 million check, it’s tough to say “no.” Levy, however, isn’t most people. And when you consider that payday would be part of a Kane transfer, it’s easy to see why.

During his time in North London, the striker has been the living, breathing embodiment of Tottenham Hotspur. Kane is the face of the franchise and a prolific goal scorer, finding the back of the net 213 times in Premier League play. In recent years, he’s also become more adept at dropping into the midfield and acting as a playmaker, adding another string to his bow.

Selling him, especially with the season days away, would have left a gaping hole in Spurs’ attack. Could Richarlison step into the breach and start at striker? Sure, but he probably can’t replace Kane’s goals, assists or sheer presence.

With that in mind, it’s completely understandable why Spurs wouldn’t sell. And, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic, that’s what the club has chosen to do.

Keeping Kane only kicks risk down road

So, turning down a potential Kane transfer is the smart move, right?

Maybe not.

While keeping the forward under contract makes Tottenham better in the short term, there’s a problem: the England international will be out of contract after the 2023-24 campaign. Given that he’s getting older and still hasn’t won a major trophy, Kane might not be keen on signing an extension. And, if he doesn’t, things will probably get worse for Spurs.

Should Kane reach free agency, it’s reasonable to assume he’s moving to greener pastures. Not only will that mean Tottenham will be without his talents, but the club won’t receive any money to soften the blow. Replacing a Golden Boot winner is tough, even with a massive war chest. Trying to do so without raising funds is a potential disaster.

That leaves the club at a crossroads. Do you hold on to your star player and hope that he can deliver a moment of magic, even if that comes with a risk of a big-picture blow? Or do you suffer the indignity of a Kane transfer, watching your star leave town and chase trophies with another club, on the condition that it plants the seeds for a promising future?

Levy has apparently made Tottenham’s decision. Now, all we can do is see how things play out.