Erling Haaland could help Kane finally seal Man City transfer
The timing from Harry Kane and his camp in May was like clockwork.
Less than a week after Dortmund had secured qualification for next season's Champions League, the Tottenham striker and England captain spoke for over an hour on Gary Neville's Youtube channel talking about topics such as his desire to win trophies and how he'd love to play with Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City were and are admirers of Erling Haaland - how could any top side not be? - but this served as an unsubtle nudge to the Premier League champions that one of their top targets was far more attainable than the other.
That proved incorrect, of course, with Kane's team fundamentally misunderstanding their agreement with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and the businessman's position only becoming more entrenched with every public agitation to leave. It did mean, though, that Kane was the saga of the summer while Dortmund quietly kept hold of their star asset for another season.
The calm for the Bundesliga club came before the expected storm, with Haaland set to return to the agenda of the biggest European clubs after picking up where he left off with his prolific goalscoring form. Having visited Barcelona and Real Madrid last spring, superagent Mino Raiola is reported to be planning talks with City in January over a move next summer.
After holding all the cards that he wanted in the last transfer window, Levy may now be finding his hand isn't as good as he thought it was. Kane's form has not been great since he reluctantly agreed to carry on in north London, and City are the most obvious club to pay a premium sum for the striker if any is to be paid.
Yet for all his experience and pedigree, Kane at 29 next season does not look as valuable a prospect as a 22-year-old Haaland - particularly for the Blues who like to sign players in that younger bracket.
Having made sure City were aware of the situation back in May, the player and his representatives may wish to be as unsubtle in making the point to the Tottenham chairman about the state of play.
Three years on his contract last summer felt like an eternity but the next big transfer window is the last one where Kane can realistically command a big fee. If Levy doesn't want to miss out on that, he not only has to open negotiations with City but also present them with a better offer than the value that Haaland represents.
Having both taken advantage of Haaland's situation last summer in different ways, Kane and Levy have work to do if they are to avoid being overshadowed by it in the coming months.