Spurs warn off Real Madrid with world record price tag on Harry Kane
Real Madrid desperately need a new star
Harry Kane is probably the best striker in the world right now. I say probably, because these statements always divide opinion, but in terms of all round play and goalscoring ability, you'll be hard pushed to find anyone better.
This is why Real Madrid are keen to sign him. Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer, Madrid have lacked that match winning X-factor in the squad. As a result they find themselves hovering around fourth place in the league, with any chance of regaining the title pretty much dead.
Madrid reportedly made contact with Spurs before LaLiga's winter break to enquire about what sort of price would convince Tottenham to part with their talisman. At least £350 million was the response, according to Spanish newspaper AS.
That might seem like an extortionate price, and that would be because it is. But there are several factors at play: Kane's importance to Spurs; Real Madrid's need for a new goalscoring star; and the utterly insane transfer market that refuses to stop inflating.
Neymar's €222m blew the roof of the transfer market in 2017, and this is where we are.
Madrid don't exactly have an endless pit of money to spend, with their stadium renovations eating large chunks of their transfer budget, but don't underestimate their desperation right now and the measures they are willing to take in order to remain challenging for domestic and European trophies.
The club view Kane as a more sensible investment than signing, for instance, Robert Lewandowski or Edinson Cavani, both of whom are 30 or older.
Kane turns 26 soon and still has at least five more years at the very top level, assuming he continues to avoid any serious injuries.
However, Daniel Levy is famously difficult to deal with, and will not let his star player go without a fight and, as mentioned, a huge pot of money. It's likely that Madrid will eventually give up and start looking in cheaper aisles.