Real Madrid reserve Karim Benzema's number 9 shirt as they plot sensational deal
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Real Madrid will reportedly reserve their No 9 shirt for Harry Kane as they prepare a £100million bid for the Tottenham striker.
In turn, the Spanish press have wasted no time in linking Kane with a move to the Bernabeu, as Carlo Ancelotti spies a replacement.
Real's interest in Kane will come as a blow to Manchester United who had identified the England skipper as their priority transfer target, with Erik ten Hag in the market for an elite goalscorer this summer.
While the focus has been on Benzema's departure, Spanish news outlet Marca claim that Real have Kane as their No 1 choice to replace him, with the No 9 shirt now vacant.
Indeed, Kane actually wears No 10 at Tottenham but former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric currently occupies that number for Real.
The report adds that Kane's name had been discussed by Real executives as they held meetings at their training complex in recent days.
Meanwhile, Ancelotti reckons they can get three or four seasons of 'top class performances' from the 29-year-old.
The European giants also believe they have leverage with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, who is currently against selling to a Premier League rival such as United.
Spurs have allegedly made contact with both Spurs and Kane's representatives, but Levy is expected to play hardball during any potential negotiations - a fact Real know all too well after buying both Luka Modric and Gareth Bale from the north London club.
A separate report from Diario AS explained that Kane was the best alternative to Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, with both players seemingly out of reach.
However, Kane previously admitted he couldn't see himself moving abroad.
Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap in 2021, he said: "Of course there's always the option of maybe moving abroad one day but I don't think that really interests me in the near future."
Kane is just 47 goals away from breaking Alan Shearer's long-standing Premier League scoring record, which he is widely expected to break given he only turns 30 in July.
But a move abroad could all but end his pursuit of the record.
On breaking the record, Kane also said added: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't [want to do it]. I think if I get to the end and I haven't broke that record and the Wayne Rooney England record then I'd probably be a little disappointed in myself."