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England captain Harry Kane leaves Tottenham for Bayern Munich in search for trophies

Harry Kane.

Harry Kane.
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

England captain Harry Kane completed his move to Bayern Munich from Tottenham on August 12 in soccer’s biggest transfer of the summer as the striker goes in search of the first major trophies in his career.

The transfer fee for Kane could hit more than 100 million pounds ($110 million), which breaks the Bundesliga transfer record and is a huge sum for a player who would have been out of contract next year.

“It’s not a goodbye because you never know how things pan out in the future,” Kane, who has been at Tottenham since 2004, said in a video message, “but it’s a thank you and I’ll see you soon.”

Kane, who has signed a four-year deal, flew to Munich on August 11 to undergo a medical examination and is set to be presented to fans at the German Super Cup on Saturday, when Bayern plays Leipzig.

Kane leaves Tottenham after 19 years at the club, where he became the second highest-scoring player in Premier League history — with 213 goals, 47 behind Alan Shearer — but never won a trophy with the team.

“Obviously a lot of emotions going through me right now,” Kane said, “and sad to be leaving the club I’ve spent nearly 20 years of my life at, from an 11-year-old boy to a 30-year-old man now.”

“I felt like this was the time to leave,” he added, “I didn’t want to go into the season with a lot of unresolved future talk.”

The reported fee for Kane would easily break the Bundesliga transfer record set when Bayern signed French defender Lucas Hernández from Atletico Madrid in 2019.

Bayern president Herbert Hainer said Kane would be a “real asset to the entire Bundesliga.”

“We’re very happy about this top-quality new arrival,” Hainer said. “The transfer required tenacity, bite and perseverance — my compliments to all those involved in these negotiations at FC Bayern.”

Kane will give a central focus in attack to a Bayern team which has struggled to adapt since selling Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona a year ago.

In Bayern’s announcement, Kane added he’s “very happy” to be at the perennially successful club.

“Bayern is one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I’ve always said that I want to compete and prove myself at the highest level during my career. This club is defined by its winning mentality — it feels very good to be here,” he said.

As for Tottenham, Kane’s departure would leave a hole in the squad ahead of its first game of the new Premier League season, against Brentford on Sunday. It would require restructuring a team which is already reeling from the failure to qualify for any European competition this season, but new manager Ange Postecoglou said Friday he had been preparing for that and that Kane’s imminent departure “at least gives us some clarity.”

“We have been planning for this, it’s fair to say, for a while,” he said. “This doesn’t change things dramatically from my perspective anyway for what we are trying to build.”

Kane scored 30 Premier League goals for Tottenham last season. No other player in the team scored more than 10.

The closest he came to winning major honours was in 2019 when Spurs were beaten by Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Kane has repeatedly been linked with moves to leading clubs in the Premier League and Europe, but Tottenham has always resisted attempts to lure him away, largely because he was tied to a six-year contract, which was signed in 2018.

In 2021, Tottenham blocked interest from Manchester City, despite Kane indicating he was ready to leave. But with Kane set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Spurs risked losing him for nothing next summer.

Kane’s arrival marks a symbolic moment for the Bundesliga, which lost some famous names last year as Lewandowski headed to Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund sold Erling Haaland to Manchester City.

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