“He’ll be a Manc in the morning!” was the inventive chant from Wolves fans as Harry Kane made his first appearance of the season for Tottenham on Sunday.
The Molineux faithful followed that up with a more industrial rendition of “Harry Kane, he wants to f— off!” to taunt their Spurs counterparts, but the very presence of Kane coming off the bench at Molineux adds a new dimension to Manchester City’s chances of signing him.
As the transfer window enters the final eight days, time is running out for City to break their deadlock with Spurs and agree a price to sign Kane. It looks like Tottenham are ploughing ahead with reintegrating Kane into their squad for the coming season.
Meanwhile, City also look to be working out how to approach the season without Kane, too.
For the first two games of the season, Ferran Torres has led the line – albeit potentially enforced by fitness issues in the squad.
Even when Gabriel Jesus returned to the starting line up on Saturday, he was deployed out wide with Torres continuing upfront.
That decision raised some eyebrows, given Jesus is the only recognised striker in the squad, but Pep Guardiola’s post-match explanation reveals that maybe Jesus is looking to relieve himself of more central duties for the coming season.
Guardiola said: “I spoke to Gabriel and he likes to play in the wider positions. Gabriel can more to associate and drop and Ferran make movements more to the goal and with our lack of goals, we need a player there.
“Some players when they get the ball in more wide positions, their body shape is more open and they have more time to make the right decision. When you play central it is more difficult to get good balls playing so so central.
“Gabriel is better getting balls wider. We have to use Gabriel when Sergio was injured. We were lucky Ferran played there and scored three goals against Newcastle and always when he played there he had an incredible sense of finishing. All these three plus Raheem, also it is a good position for him, as a striker he is really good.”
So those comments would presume that City will go from having one recognised striker to none at all. Liam Delap, fresh from signing a new contract, is an option – but a very raw one.
That means Torres, signed for just £20m last summer, might have a more permanent role as a striker this season as a result.
If Tottenham don’t want to sell Kane for £120m, maybe it will be down to Torres to shoulder City’s goalscoring responsibilities this season.