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Van Gaal lines up Sh6.8bn swoop for Kane

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HARRY KANELONDON, May 15 – Harry Kane is the striker at the top of Manchester United’s list of transfer targets this summer.

Louis van Gaal has identified a number of players in preparation for United’s return to the Champions League, with a forward, a right back, a centre half and a central midfielder on his radar.

He already has a winger in Memphis Depay but Kane, who became the first Spurs player since Gary Lineker to score 30 goals in a season, is the striker United’s manager wants despite the 21-year-old signing a five-and-a-half-year contract in February.

Manchester United would expect to pay upwards of £45million for Kane, who scored on his England debut in March.

But if Van Gaal can also beat Liverpool and pay £5m for Burnley’s Danny Ings, whose contract expires next month, he is certainly prepared to spend big on someone as gifted and prolific as Kane, particularly with Robin van Persie entering the twilight years of his career.

It is sure to concern Tottenham supporters that United have a history of prising their best players away from White Hart Lane.

Sir Alex Ferguson recruited Teddy Sheringham, Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov from Spurs, with United paying £30m for the Bulgarian striker. Indeed United pushed hard to stop Gareth Bale moving to Real Madrid with an offer to go to Old Trafford instead.

United will certainly make money available to Van Gaal. At least as much as the £150m he spent on new players last summer.

With the first £100m instalment from a new £750m world-record kit deal with adidas to boost the coffers, Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, confirmed there would be further new arrivals following Memphis Depay’s £25m switch from PSV Eindhoven.

After releasing the club’s latest quarterly figures, Woodward said the club was delighted with the performance of van Gaal and had already started to implement plans to bring in new faces.

United are set to finish in the top four this season and grab a Champions League spot after failing to qualify for Europe’s top competition under David Moyes last term.

“We expect to be active again during the window. The squad will be absolutely deep enough and ready to challenge on all fronts next year and that involves ins and outs in the summer.”

Woodward said that ‘eight or nine’ of 30 first-team players will be out of contract at the end of next season.

“That’s a fairly normal ratio,” he explained, before adding that talks were currently ongoing with those players out of contract this summer whom the club want to keep.

The quarterly figures, for the three months to the end of March, showed United’s revenues took a £20m hit compared to the same period last year thanks mainly to a lack of Champions League football and a period when five fewer Premier League matches were televised.

They made an £11.4m pre-tax loss compared to a £20.4m profit for the corresponding period last year.

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