Man City undeterred in £100m Kaka chase
Manchester City are refusing to give up on the prospect of Brazilian superstar Kaka.
The Blues are said to be prepared to pay the 26-year-old former world footballer of the year a staggering £500,000 a week to join the Eastlands revolution, with AC Milan netting a world record £100million transfer fee.
Initial reaction from Italy has not been positive, with Kaka giving an interview to the TV station of owner Silvio Berlusconi, MediaSet, stating he remains commited to the San Siro outfit and is purely interested in helping them regain their former status as Champions League winners.
However, such talk is different from the noises being made behind the scenes and there are some inside City who remain highly confident a transfer will be brokered at some point this month.
It is felt Kaka wants to know more about the proposals City are keen to put to him, a fact acknowledged by his spokesperson Diogo Kotscho.
And there is a suggestion Kaka's father may have talks with City executive chairman Garry Cook at some point over the next 10 days to discover the club's precise intentions.
Such a move would be hugely significant as Kaka's father has played a key role in his son's career and any decision to leave Milan would almost certainly require his agreement.
The City delegation that flew out of Italy last night privately felt negotiations with Milan had gone well, building on contacts that were initially made well over a month ago.
As money is seemingly no object for this deal, City must now prove to Kaka their grand plan involves more than just cash.
Although he has not been working on the Blues' behalf, Kia Joorabchian has been used as an intermediary and is likely to be involved further given his extensive network of South American contacts, should talks progress.
Even Kotscho hinted further negotiations are almost certain, while at the same time stressing Kaka's commitment to AC Milan.
``If Milan agree and give us authorisation to talk with them, we would speak to Manchester City,'' Kotscho told BBC Radio Five Live.
``It is a great proposal. It is near £100million. It is not impossible (that Kaka could sign for City). But for us it is not only about money, we don't need only money.
``We have to have a good project and a winning project. It can be a project for the long term (to be) a top team in the world.''
It is certainly a less straightforward situation than Milan want their fans to believe.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti realises he needs extra funds for his rebuilding plans and the mere fact Milan have been prepared to offer David Beckham a short-term contract emphasises the difficulty they have compared with their major European rivals in the Premier League and La Liga.
Nevertheless, Kaka is certainly making all the right statements, which is to be expected of a player who has become sewn into the fabric of AC Milan since his arrival from South America in 2003.
``This is not probably something which will see me leave Milan,'' he said. ``If, one day, the club wishes to sell me then it is a different issue altogether.
``But I feel very good. It's not the money that will see me leave. I want to grow old at Milan.''
So far, it has been a frustrating month in the transfer market for City, whose fans might wonder how they can offer such vast sums for Kaka while failing to agree terms with West Ham, Blackburn and Newcastle for Scott Parker, Roque Santa Cruz and Shay Given.
Indeed, manager Mark Hughes claims not to be a fan of the January transfer window at all.
``I don't particularly like the transfer window because you have to wait to address things that could be sorted out a lot more quickly under the old system,'' he told the Manchester Evening News.
``I am sure there were reasons behind bringing in the transfer window in the first place but I cannot fathom what they were.
``There have been weaknesses in our squad for quite some time and I have not had the opportunity to address those. If I had been able to do so I would have done it very quickly.
``Now we get to January and the prices are inflated, expectations are heightened and the media goes crazy. I don't think it is a healthy situation.''