Real Madrid are looking at a move for Harry Kane this summer, with Carlo Ancelotti and the club's football hierarchy having discussed the English striker as one of the few players who does not represent a downgrade on Karim Benzema.
The club announced the departure of the French striker on Sunday morning, with Saudi Arabia his expected destination, but the lateness of his actual decision has caused a shift in their transfer plans for this summer. Madrid plan to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund for £130m, but were hoping to keep Benzema for one year before going big on either Erling Haaland or – much more likely – Kylian Mbappe.
They are now insistent on a striker for this window, and have had several discussions over the last few days as Benzema's decision became clear.
They do have money for a first lavish summer since 2019, having had very little net spend in the time since, and their financial isssues to be eased. Madrid have Benzema, Eden Hazard and Paris Saint Germain-bound Marco Asensio off the wage bill, with the expensive Bernabeu redevelopment also close to completion. That leaves a potential budget of over £200m, although it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to convince Tottenham Hotspur to sell or the player to join.
While The Independent has been told that it has been made known to Madrid what wages Kane would want, there is still the belief that he wants to stay in England in order to break the Premier League goalscoring record.
Spurs' position is weakened by the fact the 29-year-old now only has a year left on his contract but that has not changed Daniel Levy's hardline stance. The Spurs chairman absolutely will not countenance the sale of Kane to another Premier League club, and his preference is still to keep him for next season in the hope that a deal can still be agreed. Much will depend on the manager.
At the same time, a sale to Madrid would at least represent a more palatable option. The Bernabeu hierarchy are hoping to play on this, even though they are acutely aware of how difficult it will be to negotiate with Levy. It is still expected the Spurs chairman would want as much as £200m, which would almost certainly exceed Madrid's budget.
The club's policy is no longer to go after players above 29 due to a shift in order to compete with state-owned clubs but this is seen as an exceptional situation, due to the profile of forward required. It is also hoped it may not impinge on any new pursuit of Mbappe, as they hope to bring him in on a free and Kane could play with both the French striker and Vinicius Jr.