Man City’s five missed transfer targets over the years after Harry Kane’s U-turn

A closer look at five of the biggest transfer targets that Manchester City missed out on after England captain Harry Kane confirmed he will be staying at Tottenham “this summer”

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Manchester City’s summer-long flirtation with Harry Kane came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday afternoon.

The Spurs striker released a statement confirming that he would be remaining in North London ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline and ruling out a move to the Premier League champions – for now.

Kane said in a social media post: “I will be staying at Tottenham this summer and will be 100% focused on helping the team achieve success.”

In the wake of City’s move for Kane collapsing, Mirror Football takes a look at five big transfer targets that Pep Guardiola and the Etihad hierarchy have missed out on in recent years.

1) Harry Kane

Manchester City look set to miss out on key transfer target Harry Kane


Action Images via Reuters)

City’s pursuit of Kane has dominated the tabloids all summer.

Guardiola has been lurking in the background ever since Kane went public with his desire to leave Spurs back in May.

As coveted as Kane may have been as the final piece in Guardiola’s jigsaw for domestic and European domination, City have come up against a brick wall in their attempts to prise the England captain away from North London.

Daniel Levy is notoriously difficult to deal with – and it looks as though the Spurs chairman has got his own way again.

Levy’s £160 price tag on his golden goose meant that City’s £100m offer was never going to get the job done.

Kane’s decision to sign a long-term deal with no release clause at the club back in 2018 has scuppered any chance of a deal being struck – leaving Guardiola and City in the lurch with just days remaining in the transfer window.

2) Lionel Messi

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Former City target Lionel Messi completed a shocking free switch to Paris Saint-Germain this summer


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City’s desire to lure global megastar Lionel Messi to the Etihad has been well-documented for a number of years now.

Guardiola has longed for a reunion with the man with who he achieved so much during his tenure at the Nou Camp.

City made their move for Messi last summer when it appeared as though his unhappiness at this beloved Barca would come to a head and open the door for a blockbuster transfer.

However, the deal failed to come to fruition.

Despite Messi insisting on a clause in his contract deeming him to be free to leave the club, Barca demanded an astronomical transfer fee from City – something they were unwilling to sanction, despite having designs on bringing the Argentine icon to Manchester for years.

City Director of Football Txiki Begiristain was one of Guardiola’s closest allies in Spain and was instrumental in luring Guardiola to the Etihad.

The signature of Messi would have completed the trifecta in making the switch from Spain to Manchester – but that ship has now sailed.

3) Alexis Sanchez

City lost out to Manchester United in the race for Alexis Sanchez – only for the ex-Arsenal man to flop at Old Trafford

City and Manchester United are often fierce rivals on the pitch, but they’ve clashed off of it in the transfer market too in recent years.

The signature of Alexis Sanchez was at the centre of their initial transfer tug-of-war back in January 2018.

City made their move for the striker in the summer, but Arsenal refused to do business.

It’s widely known that upon returning for Sanchez a few months later, City were put off by his enlarged salary demands.

That didn’t deter United, who sanctioned a mammoth salary for the hitman to head over to the red half of Manchester.

Guardiola’s verdict to pass on Sanchez was vindicated though – with the Chilean ace flopping at Old Trafford.

He was offloaded to Inter Milan after netting just three Premier League goals in two seasons.

4) Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has thrived at United since his move, but City were also in the hunt for the England man

City missed out to their bitter rivals again in the battle to sign former Leicester City man Harry Maguire.

The England centre half was pursued by both clubs, with a then-record £80m package agreed for his services – but Maguire would ultimately opt to head to Old Trafford ahead of linking up with Guardiola.

Maguire himself has opened up on his decision to pick United over City.

“I spoke to both Man City and Man United,” Maguire told Gary Neville on The Overlap earlier this year. “But I must say, and no disrespect to Man City, but I grew up watching a lot more of Manchester United football at Old Trafford, being at one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest, so I always had my heart set on this club,”

“I spoke to Pep and the football that they play and what he’s done for the club, I have great respect for Pep and the evolution he has brought to football, but it was Man United.”

5) Kaka

Kaka turned down a move to the Etihad back in 2009, electing to join Real Madrid instead



City went all out to sign Brazilian superstar Kaka when he was at the height of his powers back in 2009.

The AC Milan star was lined up to make the switch to the Premier League in a mega-money £100m deal – the same figure which City smashed the British transfer record with to sign Jack Grealish a full 12 years later.

Despite City’s newly discovered wealth after their takeover by Sheikh Mansour, Kaka decided to turn down the move in the January transfer window due to uncertainty over the club’s new owners.

Kaka was hailed by frenzied Milan fans after confirming he would be staying in Serie A, although he did depart shortly afterwards in a blockbuster transfer to Real Madrid.

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