Ever since England captain Harry Kane strode down the back nine of a magnificent Surrey-based golf course in May, telling Gary Neville exactly what he thought his market value was, endless hours of TV coverage and inches of newspaper columns have been dedicated to his now non-sale.

If you’re a Spurs supporter you’ve likely held your breath nervously whilst the future of your talisman has hung in the balance. If you support anyone else, you’re likely bored and probably just glad the whole circus is now over – for this transfer window at least.

A circus though is exactly what this story has been, and what every transfer window always is. The transfer window is the wild west for football journalism and reporting – there are no rules, no regulation, the truth is irrelevant and no player or club is safe from the clutches of Twitter-wielding reporters.

Cristiano Ronaldo put it best earlier this month when he was being linked away from Juventus and back to Real Madrid. On his Instagram, the Portugal captain stated: “There have been frequent news and stories associating me with a number of clubs in many different Leagues, with nobody ever being concerned about trying to find out the actual truth.”

So, what do we actually know about the Kane transfer saga from what was reported? In reality, not much. The most common report is that Tottenham’s valuation of the player was never met. We also know that Kane was itching to leave North London this summer. Without him ever uttering those words, it didn’t take a genius to put the pieces together. Kane’s recent Twitter post confirming he’d be staying at Tottenham all-but confirmed that leaving this summer was his intention.

So a low-ball offer and the players’ wish to leave Spurs are really all we ever knew to be likely-true this summer. That’s it. How, then, did we end up with three months’ worth of daily coverage on the situation? What changed or happened in that time to warrant such coverage?

Kane’s late (or was it?) arrival back to pre-season training following his extended (or was it?) summer break was the biggest change in circumstance throughout this. Following this Spurs briefed one set of reporters, Kane’s camp another, and we still don’t really know what the truth is or was.

Despite this, we were bombarded – day after day – with constant reports of bids being “prepared” and of offers being “readied”. It’s at this point that we, as consumers of mainstream and social media, must ask – what does any of this actually mean? In reality, it means nothing. It’s empty language to continue flogging a story that hasn’t moved in months.

They were all at it – chief football reporters, Twitter celebrities and bored television presenters. Kane is the England captain, so naturally his position in society is an elevated one – he’s a newsworthy individual. But the story never moved apart from his apparent late arrival to pre-season training. Day after day, each Kane news ‘bombshell’ was exactly the same as the previous one. Reporters retweeting their own tweets with nothing new to say and a link to a tired old yarn. In essence, the whole episode was a microcosm of journalism in the social media age – quick clicks, more commonly known as clickbait. Columnists are allowed their opinion and reporters write what they believe to be true – it’s what they’re paid for – but many aspects of this Kane saga felt like client journalism.

Of course, every summer there’s a major transfer ‘saga’. Last year involved Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. Like Kane, it didn’t happen. Also like Kane it was a long, drawn out and boring story that never moved. Of course, Sancho got his move this summer and United have in their ranks a player of immense talent. One has to imagine that next summer might be when Kane’s time at Spurs comes to an end. Of course, the same outlets that have spent the summer running out of things to say about The Transfer That Never Was were pushing this line within minutes of Kane stating he would be staying in North London this season.

As Ronaldo stated, is anyone ever concerned about the truth in these matters? The evidence would suggest not, especially when there are column inches to fill, links to seed and clicks to be had.