What happens if Bayern Munich can’t sign Harry Kane?

5 August 2023 - 6:48 pm

According to reports out of both England and Germany, Bayern Munich have bid upwards of 100 million euros for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and set a midnight deadline for Daniel Levy to accept. This is it folks — either the transfer goes through in the next few hours/days, or Kane never comes to Bayern. We have already discussed the pros and cons of this signing before, but now that the end is in sight … what if it doesn’t go our way?

What if Bayern Munich fail to get Harry Kane? Well, the consequences will be as follows:

An impending lineup crisis

Thomas Tuchel wants — nay, needs — new striker. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has spent more time injured than fit for the last six months, and even if he were in tip top condition, he’s hardly a world class replacement to Robert Lewandowski. Mathys Tel has all the signs of becoming a top center forward one day, but he cannot be expected to lead the lineup at 18 for a team that wants to win the Champions League.

If Bayern Munich fail to get Kane, the team will enter a crisis. Goals were hard to come by in the preseason games, and with both Choupo and Thomas Muller struggling with injury, things could get very dire without a top level player like Kane in the lineup. Naturally, this would mean finding a replacement.

But who?

The alternatives

Chelsea FC want Dusan Vlahovic, and want to trade Romelu Lukaku + cash for him. Juventus are ready to accept that deal, and they’re negotiating a price. Could Bayern hijack that bid, and make a play for Vlahovic? How much would that cost? At this stage, it’s hard to say, but the club would need to compensate Juventus for missing out on their desired striker candidate in Lukaku.

Another option is Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani, but he’s not an ideal choice. He’s far too expensive given the long contract he has left with Frankfurt, and his playstyle isn’t quite what Bayern are looking for. Victor Osimhen might be more suitable, but Napoli want far too much money.

That only leaves Niclas Fullkrug, a player who could be signed on short notice and do the job as a target man for Bayern Munich this season. That’s … not great. Fullkrug did win the Bundesliga top scorer award last season, but he’s not exactly a Kane or an Osimhen or a Kolo Muani. He’s a 30-year-old late bloomer with a spotty injury record. At that point, you might as well gamble on Mathys Tel and hope Choupo-Moting stays fit.

Reputation fallout

Bayern Munich are on the verge of greatness with this transfer. If it goes through, the Bundesliga gets probably the biggest foreign star it has ever seen — the England international striker in the prime of his career. It would be a huge boost to Bayern and the league and draw eyes from all over the footballing world.

Of course, that kind of upside comes with its pitfalls. Bayern Munich have conducted this negotiation with some bluster, and failing at the final hurdle would come with endless mockery from rival fans, especially Premier League supporters. Pundits and fans alike will pile onto the narrative that Bayern Munich cannot attract the biggest stars in the biggest leagues, and while these may just be sour grapes from some, narratives once started tend to stick.

This has repercussions on the pitch. If Bayern Munich loses its status as a destination club from this saga, it could cause players in the future to maybe try their hand elsewhere. Young players like Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala may be tempted away to the Premier League if Bayern can’t show that it’s a place worth staying at.

As fans, we like to think our club is the best place to be, but players tend to see it very differently. Currently, the name of Bayern Munich attracts players. If that changes, it’ll cost the club. Reputation is a currency Bayern Munich can ill afford to spend, when transfers are getting so much more expensive.

The bosses take the L

After sacking Kahn and Brazzo and heading into the transfer window with promises of big signings and reinforcements for the squad, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness, and Jan-Christian Dreesen are under pressure to deliver. They put all their eggs in the Kane basket, foregoing any negotiations for a defensive midfielder or a new goalkeeper, and stalling contract talks with key players such as Alphonso Davies. If, after all this, the Kane transfer doesn’t go through, it will be a damning waste of time.

With all the platitudes about the incredible financial health of the club and the desire to compete at the highest level, if the bosses can’t manage to get a deal over the line after this whole circus — public statements, repeated bids, the media charade — then then you have to wonder what the club is even trying to do. If a big club can’t actually make big signings when it matters, is it still a big club? Or should the people at the top take the blame?