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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say

Kaka: It was ''essential'' for me to stay with Milan

Brazilian star Kaka believes it was ''essential'' he stayed at AC Milan after being wanted by Manchester City, while he has also played down talk of a summer move to Real Madrid.

City - backed by the wealth of owners the Abu Dhabi United Group - tried to sign the playmaker during January's transfer window for a world record fee of around £109m. The player pledged his future to the San Siro club and now claims he made the right decision, while also cooling suggestions he will join Real in the summer amid reports in Spain.

"I said 'no' to the offer from Manchester City because I think I will have lots of success here with AC Milan," Kaka told Hungarian sports daily Nemzeti Sport. "After I've received so much from Milan it was essential for me to stay.

"It's hard to say anything about the future because football is, a little bit, the game of the moment, so I can just talk about my present feelings. I like this team, I love the city and I'd like to play football here for a long time.

"Real Madrid is an amazing team with outstanding players, but I'd never say that I want to leave Milan."

There have been claims that Milan's ageing squad requires a major overhaul, but Kaka does not feel the club's experienced players should be consigned to the scrapheap.

He added: "There's no controversy, this is normal that players are coming and going at any club.

"I think it is important to build Milan on the players who have been playing here for a long time, but sometimes a new impulse is needed.

"Maldini, Pirlo, Ambrosini and Gattuso are the most influential players in the team. I think Ambrosini or Gattuso will be the new team captain after Maldini retires. Of course, I hope very much that some time I'll wear the armband."


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