Tottenham have no intention of selling Harry Kane to a Premier League rival this summer as Manchester United prioritise an elite forward to strengthen their attack.
Spurs' all-time record scorer enters the final year of his contract in June and has been of long-term interest to the Old Trafford side.
United have surveyed and done groundwork on younger, more dynamic options - chiefly Napoli's Victor Osimhen - with the feeling that Kane's preference is to remain at Tottenham if they demonstrate ambition moving forward.
Chairman Daniel Levy is due to open official dialogue with the England captain over fresh terms, but even if there is no breakthrough over a new deal, he will be an obstructive negotiator with prospective buyers as he has previously proven.
Kane has admitted breaking Alan Shearer's record of 260 Premier League goals is "always there in the back of my mind" and as such, he wants to remain in the division if he departs Tottenham.
His options are severely limited in England, with previous suitors Manchester City now boasting Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez. United view him as a guarantee of goals but do not want to engage in another war of attrition with Levy, and are also mindful of building for the next five years.
This is told by the age profile of the other forwards they have closely monitored: Osimhen, Goncalo Ramos, Mohammed Kudus and Benjamin Sesko.
Kane has been coveted by Bayern Munich in the past and should Spurs not convince him to extend his stay, they would favour him continuing his career abroad.
What happens in the dugout may also have an impact on the player's decision. Antonio Conte's future is uncertain and two of the options to replace the Italian if he exits are Kane acolytes.
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino helped craft the attacker into the pedigreed star he is and the pair still share a close relationship. Thomas Tuchel tried to recruit Kane for Chelsea in 2021.
Kane loves Tottenham but wants trophies
Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour:
This is a crucial period for Kane's Tottenham future. He'll have one year remaining on his contract this summer and, with no sign of an agreement, it will give Daniel Levy a decision to make. Cash in or risk losing the England captain for free in 2024.
Kane loves Tottenham and he'll certainly listen when it comes to the planned contract talks later this year, but he also wants to win trophies. His unrest when Manchester City came calling was from a perceived lack of ambition at the club and when Antonio Conte arrived Spurs were convinced this would help settle things.
Soon Kane wasn't alone as Conte vocally advocated the need to improve the squad. Following the Norwich game on the final day of last season, when they qualified for the Champions League, captain Hugo Lloris also weighed in, telling Sky Sports News the club must show ambition to build on the progress.
Suddenly, they were being urged to act from multiple sides, including the fanbase, and it played a part in Levy finding a cash injection to help the team sign the likes of Richarlison.
Champions League knockout football awaits but the top-four bid is faltering as rivals Arsenal move clear in the title race. Spurs, though, are just three points shy of their tally at this stage last season.
There is uncertainty over Conte's future and no movement yet on the Kane contract situation but in the meantime, he's committed to scoring goals and continuing to help his team.
A lot can happen in six months and if further investment is found it could make things interesting. Either way, it's certain to be an eventful few months for one of the most lethal strikers in Europe.