Man Utd transfer plans have been ‘changed by Harry Kane and Casemiro’

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Manchester United’s pursuit of Harry Kane could see them forgo a bid for Jude Bellingham this summer, according to reports. That would be welcome news for Liverpool who are eager to land the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, but Casemiro’s excellent form could consequently see the Red Devils compete with their arch-rivals for another high-profile player in the next transfer window.

United are among a clutch of clubs who have shown long-term interest in England international Bellingham. The 19-year-old is the No 1 target for Liverpool who are increasingly confident of bringing the player to Anfield, but Real Madrid and Manchester City are also optimistic of a deal.

While Erik ten Hag wants to strengthen in multiple positions, United’s top priority is to sign an elite centre-forward with Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen known targets. And according to the Guardian, a pursuit for Tottenham striker Kane – thought to be Ten Hag’s preferred new No 9 – is likely to rule them out of signing Bellingham.

That’s because Bellingham is expected to cost well over £100million before wages, while Kane will command a similar figure and also a sky-high salary. And with United needing a striker more than they need another midfielder, the England captain is expected to be the player whom they prioritise.

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Though Kane would seriously strengthen United should he sign, Liverpool would no doubt prefer not to count the Red Devils among their rival suitors for Bellingham. The report adds though that the Reds’ interest in Mason Mount could be rivalled by Ten Hag and co if they don’t move for the Dortmund talent.

United had been shopping for another defensive-minded midfielder but Casemiro has been a revelation since arriving at Old Trafford last summer. And so another attack-minded midfield option is a higher priority per the report.

Bellingham and Kane’s England team-mate Mount is out of contract at Chelsea in 2024 and talks over a new deal have stalled. It is increasingly feasible the 24-year-old will depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and as Liverpool seek a midfield overhaul, Mount is another target for them.

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But United may muscle in on that interest for the £50m-rated player. Mount would be an affordable homegrown player who could play in multiple roles for Ten Hag. And though Chelsea are direct rivals with both Liverpool and United, selling their academy graduate would represent pure profit on their financial records at a time where they need to satisfy Financial Fair Play regulations.

It is added that Kane is United’s top target because he is seen as a guarantee of goals in the Premier League. There is less certainty that Osimhen, despite his success with Napoli, would take his goals from Italy’s top flight to England’s whereas Kane has scored 201 times in the Premier League already. He may also be easier to sign given Spurs’ current crisis.

Signing Kane and Mount would represent a successful summer for United as they look to upgrade their squad to challenge for the Premier League title and for the Champions League next season. Ten Hag could also look to sign a new goalkeeper and a new right-back if he has enough funds, with player sales likely to be key to the total extent of the business he does.

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