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Kaka's transfer quandary

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Tim Vickery | 07:53 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

There are many roads leading to Eastlands at the moment - but most of them have twists and turns before reaching the home of Manchester City.

Robinho's arrival came as a surprise even to the player. Together with agent Wagner Ribeiro he devised a strategy to escape from Real Madrid in the expectation that Chelsea would be there to catch him.

It didn't happen, and though Robinho has knuckled down to his new surroundings, the fact that he immediately parted company with Ribeiro suggests that he was not entirely thrilled about the way things worked out.

The case of Kaka is very different.


In the stadium for Milan's game against Fiorentina on Saturday there was a banner proclaiming "I belong to money" - a clear attack on Kaka and his "I belong to Jesus" t-shirt slogan.

But it is not just Manchester City's money that will turn his head, for the very good reason that he has never been without it. The son of an engineer, Kaka comes from a much more wealthy background than the vast majority of Brazilian players.

The secret of his success, however, is that he has never turned the safety net of privilege into a hammock. Instead it has been a trampoline - he has allied the advantages of his background with hard work, intelligence and natural talent to become, in the eyes of City's owner, the best player in the world.

Everything Kaka does is carefully thought out and methodical and this transfer proposal will surely be no exception.

Should he join City, he would face the almost certain prospect of a second consecutive year out of the Champions League. It would also mean saying goodbye to Milan's magnificent structure, and their highly sophisticated methods of physical preparation which have had such success in reducing injuries.

And where would the move leave him in terms of the 2010 World Cup? Last time in Germany, Kaka filmed everything that happened, hopeful of recording a historic victory - but it all went wrong. In what was essentially Ronaldo's team, he was forced to track back so much that he was quickly burned out.

In South Africa it will be different. The team will be set up for him. Might it be better not to rock the boat until then?

Along with the financial considerations, all these footballing aspects will be weighed up - and non-footballing ones as well. How will his family - including a recently born son - like living in the north west of England?

If he decides to stay put, I think there will be one clear loser - and it is not Manchester City. True, transfer fees for other City targets will rocket, but that is happening anyway. In the past the likes of Real Madrid have tried to sign Kaka, and had the door slammed in their face. City have got much closer, which gives credibility to the seriousness of their project and should make it easier to attract other big names.

The losers will be Milan, who will not receive the money, but will have weakened the bond built up with Kaka over the past five and a half years.

He is a culturally curious figure. "My differential in relation to other Brazilians who haven't done well here is the fact that I want to play in Europe," he said two years ago. "I decided to use this opportunity not just professionally but also to grow as a person. I chose to be a part of here, to learn. When I arrived I thought that the degree of difficulty would be 10, but I found that it was five. I like everything I'm living here. I love the food and I learned the language."

But there are other dishes to taste and tongues to speak and I always suspected that he might want to experience life and football in either England or Spain before he retired.

Perhaps until now loyalty to Milan has repressed any such desire, and he really did intend to grow old with the club. But now the club have allowed City to talk to him. Maybe this means that, if he doesn't go now, Milan might have to accept a lot less for Kaka if he wants to move on in a couple of years.

Please submit comments on the piece in the space provided. Any other questions on South American football to, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.

From last week's postbag:

Last week you mentioned that you agree with Maradona that Gago-Mascherano should be the central midfield partnership for Argentina. Now, I have a question for you: what should be the ideal central midfield partnership for Brazil?

I think it is fair to say that the two "volante" positions do not have a clear owner now that Gilberto's, Edmilson's and Juninho's careers are in the twilight. Anderson and Lucas looked promising but have been erratic in club form of late, I wonder if they'll live up to their potential by staying in their current clubs.

Josué and Mineiro were tried but have proved out of their depth in the national team, and probably are already too old. Hernanes started well but has since evolved more into an attacking rather than deep-lying midfielder.

In sum, it appears Brazil are well behind Argentina on developing that department - and Beijing has shown a glimpse of what may be to come. What are your thoughts on that?
Pedro Fernandes

A subject close to my heart! It saddens me to see a converted centre-back like Gilberto Silva playing for Brazil in the position that once was Clodoaldo's.

Many things have contributed to this - the 1982 defeat, a desire to match the Europeans in physical terms, a gameplan based on freeing the full backs to attack, and a lack of job security in the domestic game leading to cautious coaches. But we've now reached a situation where Brazil can only play on the counter-attack. If the opposition get men behind the ball, Brazil lack the wit in central midfield to pass their way through.

The good news is that I think we're starting to see a change - the last Brazilian Championship featured more central midfielders who can pass the ball - with Hernanes chosen as player of the tournament. I'm hoping that a trend is underway whereby Brazil rediscovers its glorious tradition in this area of the pitch.

There plenty of candidates for the Gago position - Hernanes has the talent, though perhaps the Olympics showed that he could do with a move to a club that play more possession football, and as you said, Anderson and Lucas are around as well.

What would really be great would be to find a number five who can play - Dudu Cearanse, now of Olympiakos, was a great hope for a while, but always wanted to play further forward. I remember how Luxemburgo got his Corinthians side playing a decade ago by withdrawing the Colombian Freddy Rincon to this role. I

t's a complete wild card, but I wonder about Fabricio of Cruzeiro playing there. You lose out defensively, but he can organise a team from deep, which has been sadly lacking of late. Also, Jean of Sao Paulo looked promising last year - I'll be watching his progress with interest.

Why is it in club football in South America and Spain there is some prestige attached to being president of a club and why does it not exist in England?
Bryon Jones

Because Real Madrid, Barcelona and the vast majority of South American clubs are associations where the president is elected by the members. In order to be elected you need to have a high political profile - who is going to vote for a candidate they have never heard of? So there is lots of publicity and debate in the press where the candidates get their ideas across. The structure of English clubs makes this unnecessary - control enough shares and the club is yours.


  • Comment number 1.

    The article didn't really tell us much apart from Kaka having a fairly comfortable upbringing and having his head screwed on. If he joins Man City then that screw has well and truly fallen off. What other reason can there be other than money?

    And another cheap shot at Gilberto Silva. I actually thought he could play a bit, too. He was part of a good Brazil team that won the World Cup and also a member of Arsenal's invinvibles. In any case, even if you downplay his passing abaility, nearly every team deploys a defensive grafter in midfield. Why not Brazil?

  • Comment number 2.

    Brazilian football again this week, thats brazil six weeks in a row nowis it? Is nothing happening on the rest of the continent?

  • Comment number 3.

    If I was Milan, I would take as much money as Man City would offer and then simply go out and buy Franck Ribery for maybe a quarter of the price.

    I don't think they would even notice Kaka had left.

    I believe the best player in the world is Messi, why do you think it is that Man City are not going after him instead?

    Cost too much can be the only reason I can think of, but then they often have a minimum fee release clause in spain which I am sure they could meet.

  • Comment number 4.


    I suppose he could have written about that Colombian's move to Wigan, or something else. But in the week that a Brazilian may become the first 100million pound player, possibly picking up half a million a week, and leaving one of the worlds historically great clubs for the nouveau riche City, Brazil does seem -to me at least- a sensible place for the South American correspondent to be.

  • Comment number 5.

    An excellently written, balanced and insightful blog. The first one I have read online that went beyond the obvious.

    To everyone that is naive enough to still comment that it must only be for the money (shockingly even after reading this blog some of them!) - it should now be clear that it is likely Kaka has many other motivations.

    And as for talking about Brazil too much, i concur with Eggfriedruss: we are talking about potentially the biggest signing ever, of a brazilian! so its only natural!

  • Comment number 6.

    Messi is no where near the value of Kaka. Don't get me wrong, Messi is amazing but what's the point in buying a player can only play 30 games a season?

    With Kaka you can factor in other things like durability, experience as well as sheer ability

  • Comment number 7.

    why do people think it is a problem if kaka comes to man city - and i think he will

    city have the financial backing and a great set up , a great stadium and a great management team

    and we are starting to go in the right direction

    and don't tell me that football has not been about money because it has for the last 30 years ....

    .. but being positive we can still enjoy the game and as a man city fan for all my life i am very excited about what the future holds for man city is a pity that the rest of the football fan base can be postive about man city too

  • Comment number 8.

    7. At 10:14am on 19 Jan 2009, citymikeok wrote:
    why do people think it is a problem if kaka comes to man city - and i think he will

    city have the financial backing and a great set up , a great stadium and a great management team

    and we are starting to go in the right direction

    and don't tell me that football has not been about money because it has for the last 30 years ....

    .. but being positive we can still enjoy the game and as a man city fan for all my life i am very excited about what the future holds for man city is a pity that the rest of the football fan base can't be postive about man city too

  • Comment number 9.

    Wow Tim fancy having to contemplate living in the 'north west' of England, dear me sounds so dreadful!

  • Comment number 10.

    I'd rather live in Milan

  • Comment number 11.

    I dont think KaKa wants to leave Milan atall, can you realy see him wanting to live in sunny Manchester?

    However i do think he will end up there but only down to Milan being unable to resist such a huge amount of money. They will end up forcing him out and KaKa will take the 'Money grabbing' headline when the only gold diggers will be milan!

    I feel sorry for him, he will not be the same at City, especially when they fall apart!

  • Comment number 12.

    A good insightful article Tim, a nice take on the whole Kaka saga.

    I for one, for footballing reasons and the integrity of the game, hope that Kaka does not join Man City and instead stays with Milan, one of the greatest clubs historically in the world, somewhere where he will be view back on with great fondness, where as if he joins Citeh then he will just be viewed as a mercinairy who jumped ship at a successful, historical club for the big bucks of the rich arab run club! Where the success could be very short if the owners get bored easily with their new play thing!

  • Comment number 13.

    Nice to read a more considered piece rather than the hysterical ramblings of a good proportion of the national press.

    Its obvious that AC are (reluctantly) happy to cash in on him for a huge fee (whatever it is) and from a business point of view it is hard to argue against.They can clear there debts and plough money back into the team and get younger players than the likes of Beckham (funniest comment of the week was his 'no players in the AC dressing room think about the money' - really David!).

    From a playing point of view and as a City fan I have no problem with the fact that at the moment we are a hard sell.
    However it is now obvious that our new owners are indeed serious about wanting to get other top players at the club to join Robinho so once he listens to what the club have planned he may well be tempted.

    After all Milan with one or two notable exceptions is not that nice a city (no offence) and as Robinho commented Manchester wasn't the wastelands he was expecting (other than bits of Trafford:)

    It's a difficult descision for him to make and City can only hope that he risks signing for them despite the undoubted criticism he will get for doing so.
    Personally I think he will stay despite the pressure AC will put on him and maybe go to Real in the summer.

    That will no doubt please the outraged 'fans' of the big four who have provided much entertainment with there 'this isn't fair' comments particularly the Chelsea fan who complained City would 'ruin' football.

    Still its great fun to watch and read about and just wait until the summer........

  • Comment number 14.


    Kaka and Messi are my two favourite players.

    It is true that Messi can be very unfortunate with injuries but this season he seems to have over-come them and I think he has something like 20 goals in 22 games.

    If I had as much money available as Man City I would go for Messi first, closely followed by Kaka.


    What are your opinions on the pros and cons of having either Messi or Kaka.

    Who would you prefer and why?


  • Comment number 15.

    How much would Maradona cost these days?

  • Comment number 16.

    When clubs start to offer such high fees for a player, the whole transfer market goes wild.

  • Comment number 17.

    concerning Kaka, in the end it should be his choice, based on his sound reasoning, and not someone pushing him out of milan/towards city. i just read his father is urging him to go. add that to the fact that berlusconi is intending to sell him and kaka himself crying at the thought of leaving the all seems too sad.

    brazil's problem with the no.5 position is that its creative, smart players are all upfield, and not many brazilian midfielders are good ball winners (from my point of view). lucas seemed promising in gremio, anderson seems to be forced into a new position, and gilberto has never really been selecao material. they need someone like internacional's guinazu, hardworking, efficient and no-BS! only ze roberto (the bayern version) is doing that but he's out of contention now.

    how about renato augusto being converted into a redondo-esque figure???

    tim, give us a preview of the upcoming brazil-italy game. what should brazil be lookin for in this game? rely on the usual big names or test the talent of the kids?

  • Comment number 18.

    I predict a year at City, before Real Madrid nip in with a minimum fee release clause bid - rumoured to be £68m, if City don't reach an acceptable level by this time next year.

    It does seem that he doesn't want to leave Milan, but as noted by an earlier correspondent, their acceptance of the bid will probably force his hand.

    It's a very odd, and rather distasteful, situation.

  • Comment number 19.

    Gilberto Silva could pass the ball. At the start of his Arsenal career, he had some trouble because the speed of the Premiership meant he was closed down quickly, and subsequently had to rush his passes, which made it seem like he was a poor passer. However, as he got used to the speed, his passing improved substantially.

    He is not a creative midfielder, so is unable to find special through passes that cut through a defence, but that is not his job. As a defensive central midfielder, his first instinct is to break up play, which he does very well. When he receives the ball, he plays it sensibly and economically. At Arsenal, we paired him with Patrick Vieira, and the partnership worked well, with Gilberto not proving a hindrance to our attacking play at all, during a period when Arsenal were renowned for their outstanding football.

  • Comment number 20.

    25 million for santa cruz so why not 100 million for kaka, he is 4 times the player.

  • Comment number 21.

    I live in Manchester and have visited Milan many times for work reasons and can honestly say that Manchester climate aside is a much nicer place.

  • Comment number 22.

    A very nice and different article from all that i have so far read...
    I like ur point of view how Man City atleast gettin close and how Milan would lose out if Kaka decides to move on later....

  • Comment number 23.

    I'd be very sad to see Kaka go to city. I think it would ruin his career, branding him a mercenary in a lot of people's eyes. It'd be great to have him in the premier league, but this is not the right time or way for it to happen.

    I think if he does sign for city, it will be a result of knowing that Milan is willing to sell him, and it's probably only a matter of time before they cash in. He may be ambitious, and it is definitely an exciting time at city... But realistically, success is a few years off as the owners don't seem to understand how to build a quality team yet (aside from buying the biggest name attacking footballers in europe).

  • Comment number 24.

    if kaka does have all these release clauses, they will make no difference whatsoever as no-one will be able to afford the supposed wages apart from city.

    however i think those propogating messi as the solution rather than kaka have missed the point that neither of these guys will be what city really needs - they need de jong urgently, but a centre-back and a left-back wouldn't go amiss.

    a target-man and someone with a bit of steel (even with de jong), someone like defour, would not go amiss either.

  • Comment number 25.

    One thing i have heard, is the City board are spinning their bid to be like that of Maradona joining Napoli.

    So Kaka, would be the building block of something new and exciting. Not just for the money but to start a quest...

    ...And why not write some history with a club which has little.

    Whether he takes that bait remains to be seen...

  • Comment number 26.

    The attempted signing of Kaka, aside from the footballing aspect is an obvious statement of intent from City's new owners. Kaka will act as a magnet to future transfer targets and really cement Manchester City's arrival on the world stage.

    I believe if City obtain Kaka's services the signing will act as a catalyst for progress at the club and that is why the owners are prepared to commit so much money to the transfer.

    The money being touted is necessary because it is Manchester City and had it been Real Madrid or another marque club then i'm sure the fee would be significantly less.

    On the subject of the absence of ball playing midfielders in Brasil at the moment, I am in total agreement with Tim. It is lamentable to think that a country with such a proud tradition of technically gifted and imaginative players has resorted to playing defenders in midfield. Watching players such as Eder, Socrates and Falcao was one of the reasons I fell in love with Brasillian football, that and the cool sounding names!

  • Comment number 27.

    Why arent my comments posting?

  • Comment number 28.

    does anyone read the article before they post? kaka came from a middle class background where he HAD money he doesn't need the money that man city are offering. he gives vast sums of money to charity every year as well. On top of this listening to Gab Marcotti on 606 the other night he made a few interesting points. Kaka is on a rediculous wage at Milan anyway. If you take into account the taxes he will pay playing for City he will stand to lose £11 million a year, this is according to Marcotti. He says that Kaka's wage rise in real terms with a move to man city is only really around 20% not the double or treble his wages deal that the papers have been talking about.

    So my point here is that listen to what Vickery is actually saying, it makes sense for Milan to sell and as Milan have accepted the bid (if they infact have) then Vickery rightly points out that Kaka's feeling of loyalty to the club must surely be called into question now. Up until now he, along with messi, have been the untouchables but now with Man City's wealth, a lot of players around the world will be thinking will it be me next?

    Kaka said he wants to play in the premier league. This looks like its the only way that is going to happen and if it does i personally can't wait, the lad is a genius!

  • Comment number 29.

    Agree with Diegomoran (post 21): contrary to what people who have not been to either city might think, Manchester is a far nicer place to live than Milan. Odd, huh.

    Re Kaka, I will go with the idea that Kaka will leave Milan (1) because AC cannot refuse the offer and (2) because he wants to fulfil a longstanding ambition to play elsewhere than in Italy.

    However... I am almost 100% sure that Man City was not the club he had in mind... You could name around 15 clubs that were probably on Kaka's wish-list and I will guarantee Man City was not on that list.

    Aside from that, I too find the price tag unpalatable - it smacks of Man City owners saying "this is a bid that no one else can afford"; it makes me despair for the future of pro football and, in my view, brings the moment when football suffers an almighty crash even closer.

  • Comment number 30.

    The question of Milan Vs Manchester is one of personal culture: Those players with a latin culture including Portugal, Spain, Brasil, Italy, will always prefer to live and play in Madrid, Barcelona or Milan than in Manchester or London. You can not expect Kaka, or Robinho to enjoy street life in Manchester as much as they would in Madrid or Milan. In a similar way Paul Scholes in Milan would be a fish out of water.
    This applies also to Ronaldo and Manu have done well to hold on to him this far. But the thrill of playing for the best team in the world in the best league in the world will not be enough to hold him.

    On who is better: the top players in the world are Messi, Kaka, Ronaldo, and if he can get his game back - Ronaldinho. Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be close but his style may not be effective in the EPL. They are all different and any team is fortunate to have one in their ranks. Also the respective teams adapt their style to get the best out of their "star".
    The ManU haters will argue against Ronaldo's inclusion: he is the least individually gifted but he compensates with athleticism. And the impact he makes in games is on a par with the others.

  • Comment number 31.

    ourmaninbucharest - I'll grant you that there are Latin cities that suit Latin people - but Milan is an exception - it's as colourful as Sheffield (which incidentally, isn't a bad place). Put that's personal opinion.

    In your list of top players you've left out Gerrard, probably as influential as Messi or Ronaldo as a match-winner, more so than Kaka, and a whole lot more so than Ibrahimovic. But that also is a personal opinion (from someone who is not a Liverpool fan by the way).

  • Comment number 32.

    No one seems to be looking at this saga from the most important angle - Kaka will leave if Milan want the money. It's not all his decision. Far from it. So if Kaka does join City it may not be because he wants the money but because Milan wanted to sell him.

  • Comment number 33.

    If Milan take the money, what do they do with it? Can any amount of money replace one of the world's best? Will Milan use it to bid for Messi or Ronaldo? Or should they go for depth? Is it better that Milan buy 3, 4, 5 etc quality players and sacrifice one outstanding one?

  • Comment number 34.

    Moving away from the Kaka saga which I think will keep going until the end of the window whichever way it ends up I have a slightly off topic question.

    I have read your articles on keepers from Brazil a few times but I am wondering what the situation is in Argentina? Imparticular the case of Ustari, I remember a few years ago he was tipped for big things and moved to Spain but since then I have lost touch with his development and don't know how he is viewed back home.

  • Comment number 35.

    Last month I looked at LDU of Quito, from Ecuador, the previous month I wrote about problems in Uruguay and Peru, before that there was lots on Argentina (Basile resigning and Maradona taking over), which was preceded by pieces on Colombia, Riquelme and Paraguay.

    Ok, plenty on Brazil - especially over the last few weeks when it has generated the best stories - but I've been round the rest of the continent as well.

  • Comment number 36.

    Oh no, people are now doing the Messi vs Kaka debate, it's the international version of Gerrard vs Lampard...

  • Comment number 37.


    We both agree that Milan looks like Sheffield on a bad day. Its the people that make Milan a colourful place to be, but thats my personal opinion, but I think most latins would see it this way too. The people are also a tad more stylish

    I entirely agree: Gerrard is very close to the best players in the world, on both ability and impact, and in the EPL probably more valuable than Kaka or Messi over a long hard season.

  • Comment number 38.

    Several days later and it still hasn't sunk in. This is football gone utterly crazy, if I were a City fan of course I'd be delighted because like it or not, they will surely be a force in the coming years (in the transfer market at least). I won't say how I feel about it because so many others have said the same - i.e. this is not fooball anymore, this is not the game I love, this is real life Championship Manager (btw the owners could have paid £30 for that and saved themselves a lot of trouble and money). Lets resign ourselves for the moment to the fact that super-rich business men are now going to control the game at the top. However, in this case, it all seems so very rushed - they are running before they can walk in my eyes. Abramovic raised all our eyebrows, but compared to this he looked sensible. He threw 25m cheques around like they were going out of fashion, but at players Mourinho had identified, not always stars, but always part of the manager's plan. There was a sense, even though the cumulative cash being spent was then unprecedented, that Roman was funding the building of a great team. Contrast that to the City owners, who are intent on splashing the cash on the most expensive talent around. Oh, and Craig Bellamy. In other terms, they are buying the world's best fillet steak and putting it on a plate with ketchup and beans. Ketchup and beans from Waitrose, but ketchup and beans nontheless. As football fans, we are now pawns in the big game of chess being played by super rich men who have no idea what football REALLY means. To them it is status, to us it is culture and history. There is no dignity in this, it is extravagant and tasteless. There is more FCUMs (Football Club United of Manchester) and Wimbledons on the way in the next 15 years I believe, fans will not put up with this.

  • Comment number 39.

    Tim, what do people in Brazil make of this Kaka business? Are people getting more interested in the English game, or is this becoming a joke to other nations?

  • Comment number 40.




  • Comment number 41.

    every person has his price and it seems the 100m mark is kaka's. to be honest if i was ac milan i would take the money and run.

    people forget that they have Gourcuff on loan at Bordeaux, and whilst he isnt the player kaka yet, i do believe he has the potential to be and is showing glimpses of it at the moment.

    plus like people said 100m will allow you to strenghten in other places. for example i reckon they could get Adebayor and ribery for a combined fee of around 60m. both of whom they have been linked with

  • Comment number 42.

    I_amphilc - not even City would spend 60m on Ribery and Adebayor mate! Ribery is quality, but Adebayor is overrated in my opinion. Anyway, I'm off to replace my BMW with a skateboard...

  • Comment number 43.

    true mark but the current market is out of control. adebayor was quoted around 24m in the summer i believe and then ribery is going to cost 30m seeing as they paid in excess of 18m in the 1st place i believe? and u knw what its like these days, as soon as they know a club has a few bob the prices go up a few mill or 2.

    plus anyway they were just examples :D

  • Comment number 44.

    ........I am a typical man city fan, i think Kaka's move would be amazing for our club and the leauge. You would see the benafits instantly. ....... allthough he is a truely amazing player and i wont him so bad for my club, he is not worth £100 million, more like £65 million. ......Just think robinho did wonders for our club and he only cost us £32.5 million. Just think waht someone worth £100 million what would do for us. ......... to conclude Kaka is not wort £100 million but will do wonders for our club.

  • Comment number 45.

    I_amphilc - yeah I was just joking (bored at work!). It does beg the question though, how does one replace Kaka? Milan will survive without him, but it would be a terrible shame if they had to.

  • Comment number 46.

    ........I am a typical man city fan, i think Kaka's move would be amazing for our club and the leauge. You would see the benafits instantly.
    ....... allthough he is a truely amazing player and i wont him so bad for my club, he is not worth ?100 million, more like ?65 million.
    ......Just think robinho did wonders for our club and he only cost us ?32.5 million. Just think waht someone worth ?100 million what would do for us.
    ......... to conclude Kaka is not wort ?100 million but will do wonders for our club.

  • Comment number 47.

    Tim Vickery as usual is right.
    With Kaka it's not just about the money. Kaka is unusual that he comes from a family with a sound financial background and he received a decent education.He is managed by his father who has his sons best interests at heart and not by an agent with his own intentions at heart in reference to his commission.
    Kaka is already a millionaire and although money ticks the boxes for most of us, in Kaka's position it is not the be all and end all. If it was Chelsea or Man United then he may consider it as a more worthy ooportunity but with Man City it will most likely be at least 2 seasons before they can offer him Champions League football - remember that Platini is tweaking the format and only three teams from England will gain automatic entry to the "Champions" competition.
    Man United, Chelsea, Barca or Real Madrid might swing it for Kaka if Milan were interested in cashing in, I think with City it may well be a no, unless Silvio decides that it is an offer that Milan cannot afford to refuse. It is a ridiculous bid but when you have billions I guess £100 million is like a bid of £10 million to many other clubs.
    As for the best player in the world - Kaka everytime for me, to start with he has the use of two feet (sorry Lionel), physique, stamina, agility, creativity, adaptability.... Need I go on? Messi is great but he's no Kaka......yet.....

  • Comment number 48.

    Tim - of all the hundreds of articles written this week with a for/against the Kaka deal I have to say this one has put a very different spin on it - and is very interesting!.. so cheers mate!

    As a fan of English football - i really hope it goes through - i don't care how much it costs Man City owners - but as someone who will watch Match of the day week in week out - i (like Keegan) will love it if Kaka comes - love it!

    I am lucky enough to have watched lots of top class players play live (at the games) and Kaka is an amazing player.. if he is better than C Ronaldo, Messi or whoever is a matter of personal opinion but he is (IMO) the most graceful player on the planet.. he just seems to play the game so effortlessly as he glides around the pitch finding so much space... and if i can watch more of that i would love it!..

    I defy anyone who has ever seen him play in the flesh (and knows anything about football) to argue that he isn't a supremely gifted player...

    as for if he is worth £100m?? - i don't care... i don't care how much a Ferrari costs either or how much it costs to fly to the moon - as i can't afford to buy it - but i'd like to appreciate it as closely as possible!

    like you though - i think Milan "could" be the losers.. although i doubt that Kaka himself will see it for anything other than what it is - an amazing offer that any club should atleast listen to..

    ps - i don't think he will go!

  • Comment number 49.

    I think Messi is the best player in the world (I'll admit that I am biased).
    One Hundred Million pounds is such a great amount of money that any human would be tempted to move to City even if they are already wealthy and even if they have serious family connections that they have to worry about.

    Kaka will stay in Milan but he will lose a lot of sleep -thinking about the Big money that would mean his children and grandchildren would never have to worry about money ever.

  • Comment number 50.

    As for the weather in Milan, I think you'll find that it has a higher pricipitation level than Manchester. 38.3 inches compared to 31.76 inches in Manchester. I fled Manchester myself but with the kind of money Kaka will be getting he'll have a life of riley.

  • Comment number 51.

    Kaka's background, intelligence and attitude seem to make him different from the average footballer.

    He may therefore decide it would lead to his personal growth to play for a team which cannot be characterised as one of Europe's leaders, regardless of their current intentions.

    And it is likely that something has been broken in his bond with Milan.

    Watch out for Real, Barca, Chelsea and ManU (less likely) being alerted to his availability if he decides that City does not fit into his plans, and Milan no longer does.

  • Comment number 52.

    "I Belong to Money" - that was a good banner. I think milan and kaka are made for each other, but it would be very interesting to see him in the premier league.

  • Comment number 53.

    post 39 - if there are people around who think 100 million plus is a joke, then it's a case of ´te salut, Don Corleone.'

    The majority of press opinion here in Brazil is clearly against Kaka going to City - based in part on a misconception.

    Most here had never even heard of the club until Elano exploded there last season - United were simply referred to as 'Manchester' as if they were the only one.
    So they think that City are a tiny little club.

    I remember talking to Rodrigo, the Brazilian who spent an injury hit time at Everton a few years back. Before he went he'd never heard of the club - once he was there he understood, and was amazed by, the club's importance, tradition and fan base.

    Kaka will be well aware that if he does move to City he will be joining a club of tradition and potential.

  • Comment number 54.

    If Kaka does join Man City, it won't have been for the money. And regardless of what people say, there are more reasons for him to join than purely financial ones.

    Surely everyone must see now that Man City are going places, and Kaka will see that too. Yes they are not doing too well at the minute, but remember that their squad is still in transition- a big change was never expected overnight. However, at this rate, and trust me on this, they'll be well placed to finish in a champs league spot next season. Maybe even challenge for the title. Hey, if Aston Villa can do it this season, why not City next year?

    And from then on, it'll be all up. Whereas at Milan, the future is not so certain to be a huge success. Look at Milan's aging team and can you honestly say in a couple of years they'll still be miles ahead of Man City?

    If Kaka goes to Man City it means he HAS got ambition, not the other way around. So people, wake up. Man City won't be relegated this year and they'll push on next year, and continue to improve in years to come. Kaka can see that and so can I.

    Portsmouth fan here, by the way.

  • Comment number 55.

    These pot-shots at AC Milan are becoming quite boring. We have been presented with a mammoth bid for one player (admittedly our star player) - but we aren't even allowed to consider it?

    I, for one, am genuinely happy for City's fans. City are one of the few 'likeable' clubs remaining in football. Their fans have endured years of underachievement, relegation/promotion etc etc... and deserve some joy at last. And they don't take themselves too seriously unlike fans of, say, Man U, Tottenham, Liverpool etc... Then again, I felt the same way about Chelsea when they were taken over.

    re Kaka: I believe, sooner or later, everyone will be queueing up to join City, and if Kaka has to be the first uber transfer then so be it. Obviously, I would love it if he stayed but it wouldn't be the end of the world if he was to leave. In fact, it could be utterly positive for us as we could then invest that in 4-5 world class players i.e. Ribery, Essien, Mexes...

  • Comment number 56.

    Good Article all in all.

    Point is Kaka himself is not all about money but his entourage and his father and agent Bosco Leite is!

    In the last 5 years his father was cruising Europe's biggest clubs lurring them to bid for Kaka and every time an offer came he used it as reason to force AC Milan re-negotiate Kaka's contract to rise the sallary of the brazilian.

    Kaka's sallary was rised 5 times in 6 years - he is earing twice more than anyone at Milan and this compared to the fact that Dinho reduced his sallary and refused the percentage from the transfer fee just to come and play for MILAN instead of going to just for the money.

    There are too many uncertainties about this supposed "transfer".

    My best shot is that Bosco Leite did approuched somebody from city as he did before iin the past with people from Real and probably Chelsea inclining them to make a huge bid for Kaka.

    I think his expectations were that he could blackmale Milan again and rise the sallary - if not to the level of the offer from City at least close to that of Ibrahimovich who is said to receive 12 mln EUR per year.

    I think this scenario is possible and Milan were fed up and decided to play hard this time - which came to surpise to the father and particualry Kaka.

    I don't say that Kaka is part of all this scenario intentionally but he is very close to his father and respects him and his opinion very much.

    Kaka is torn appart between his natural loveand commitment for ROSSONERI and his family and his father - it was reported that he had intensive arguments with Bosco Leite and fell in tears at least in couple of times in the last days.

    Kaka will reject city of course - however I think Milan will not be very keen to sell him to Real in the summer and for less money.

    Kaka has a contract untill 2013 and if he really wants to grow old with Milan - a simple statement kind of "I want to stay at Milan i don't want to go anywhere and i don't want the money because I love Milan".

    This is enough for the tens of thousands of fans in Milan and millions arround the world to stand in his support. Then if Galliani and Berlusconi care for their lives they will have a little choice but quickly to send city agents back home.

    I personally believe it is more or less a great dicision what he feels inside now.

    Don't think Kaka will go to city but I don't want to see him with the shirt of Real also - Milan biggest rivalary in the world club football.

    Hard times for all true Rossoneri...

  • Comment number 57.

    Myleftslipper.... one might suggest that ultimately surely ANY person on the planet would be stupid to turn down £500,000 a week, ultimately football is his job and the prime purpose of a job, whether you care to admit it or not is to earn money. He has to whats best for his family in the long run and if that's earning 500k a week at city then he's not at all mad. The madness is someone being prepared to pay that.... mind thats around what DB gets from LA if we are to believe to 125m over 5 years we were told.

    Plus, the premier league is a great competitive league to play in (far more so than spain) and has a far better reputations (particularly in the middle and far east) than any other European league.

  • Comment number 58.

    everyone is talking about the money as if it will make much difference...

    even if Kaka doesn't go to Man City i think he will be ok for a few quid for the rest of his life.. and his kids should be set up nicely as well... and probably their kids, etc, etc...

    it isn't as if he is paid nothing at AC Milan.. he is on a fair bit as it is... and like any of todays "star" footballers i think it is safe to say that he can pretty much buy whatever he wants!.. the difference in real terms of earning £500k per week or £200k or £100k is not that significant... as £5m a year (£100k per week) is quite a lot of money... Kaka will earn atleast that for atleast the next 5 years... so even if he ONLY earns £25m in the next 5 years i think he will be ok....

  • Comment number 59.

    once again, good article
    opens my eyes up to south american football

    though being youth-oriented
    how are Millan(Colo-Colo), Zuculini(Racing Allevendra), Toselli(Univ Catolica) and Ramires(Cruzeiro) going?

  • Comment number 60.

    Tim, thanks for taking the time to respond. Interesting to hear that people haven't even heard of City. Unfortunately I have no idea what you mean by "te salut, Don Corleone"?! I can hazzard a guess at the meaning, but I'd love to know who or what Don Corleone is?!

  • Comment number 61.

    As a Port Vale fan, I couldn't give a monkeys about all this. It's like the blues band I see play every week at my local worrying about what record label U2 are on. I don't have a '2nd team' in the Premiership (although of course I do love it when Stoke lose, just as I did when they were in the championship last year) & for me the whole money versus common sense argument went west on the day that a certain club signed an absurdly average midfielder named Steve Daly from Wolves for some crazy amount way back when. Anyway, is Kaka really that good? I saw that goal he scored against Argentina; all he did was run quite a long way past a few knackered defenders & finish quite well. A donkey like Gerrard could do that & he must be worth about £750,000!

  • Comment number 62.

    Don Corleone was the Godfather in the eponymous film.

    Having lived in four different countries (England, France, Germany and Thailand), I can confirm what Tim says about Man City: most people outside Britain have never heard of them, and MU is simply referred to as "Manchester".

  • Comment number 63.

    #56 - acmilanfan

    thats is a good interesting point you make and one that I am sure many people have not even thought or heard of, let alone even considered?!

  • Comment number 64.

    As a Port Vale fan, I couldn't give a monkeys about all this. It's like the blues band I see play every week at my local worrying about what record label U2 are on. I don't have a '2nd team' in the Premiership (although of course I do love it when Stoke lose, just as I did when they were in the championship last year) & for me the whole money versus common sense argument went west on the day that a certain club signed an absurdly average midfielder named Steve Daly from Wolves for some crazy amount way back when. Anyway, is Kaka really that good? I saw that goal he scored against Argentina; all he did was run quite a long way past a few knackered defenders & finish quite well. A donkey like Gerrard could do that & he must be worth about ?750,000!


    Well it looks to me trying to explain to you how good is Kaka playing football is kind of trying to explain to an Yorkshire butcher the art of Picasso. He would always would argue that any Picasso doesn't look much different than the trunk when he's finished with it.

    And btw Kaka did the same goal to Celtic as well. Plus a LOT MORE!

  • Comment number 65.

    hermannredux - thanks for that, it's been a long time since I saw the Godfather!

  • Comment number 66.


    Funny that.

    I can accept that City are not known that much in the Far East and South America.

    However are you seriously suggesting that football fans in France and Germany have never heard of City?

    Wherever countries I have visited and it became known I was from Manchester the next question is usually blue or red, City or United.

    To be fair this didn't happen in Lombok where to my wifes amusement the waiter once he found out I was from Manchester proceeded to talk 'United' with me and was oblivious to the fact there was another team.

    It also created confusion in Surrey once as well:)

    Agree about your comments on Manchester as a place to live though.
    If Kaka comes he may even like it!!
    Sadly though I think his heart isn't in it (and I can understand why) so he wont leave.

  • Comment number 67.

    Okay, Lets say kaka gets his lucrative contract and moves to Citeh! In his cluase, he can walk away for a suitable fee if Citeh aren't challenging for the title in 2 seasons or cannot offer champion's league footy. What happens then? Are Citeh willing to lose possibly 90 million on an unsettled player who can walk if another team offers a suitable amount for him, lets say 20 - 30 million. Reports say Citeh are willing to pay up to 130 million to land their new toy soldier for their battle field. Will Robinho get the hump when he realises he's earning 410 thousand pounds a week less than kaka?

    Then Citeh entices Messi to the battle field with a dangling carrot of 600 grand a week wage.......WOW! He can't wait to pack his luggage bag with a contract full of clauses that he can go on a free if the club aren't reaching the champion's league in the next 30 weeks

    I sense the circus is in town, a circus full of clowns!!!!

  • Comment number 68.


    Having the privelege to speak italian and english and being what as consider myself true rossonero I am browsing the sites and forums because I waa deepely upset when the news of Kaka going to city first appeared.

    I tihnk the information on the situatuion in Uk media in general is by far more deceptive and misleading.

    Partially because there's huge lack of information which acknowledged in italy as well.

    The more the pieces come together the more I think Kaka's entourage ihas put the beginning of all this - trying to play the trick on his sallary once again or indeed are pursuading him to agree to the deal but in both occasions it's the greed which motivates them.

    Kaka is very different, very gracious and well tempered person - everybody who knows him keep saying this. He will never accept such deal for the money.

    But the story went too far than all parties have expected I think.

    1) City probably made their bid not actually expecting Milan to agree. Now they are overexcited of the possiblity to have the best player in the world playing for them and many are exaggerating the chances this to happen - which are slim IMO.

    2) Kaka "advisors" didn't quite expect Milan officials to shift in a way like they did - "We can't offer you any more money if this is what you want. So if it money than Kaka wants rather than success and love of the fans at San Siro and Milan 0 the club who gave him everything then you are free to leave - there's the door"

    3) Kaka perhaps aware more or less of what is going on was assured by his father that this time as before everything will go nice and smooth behind the curtains and will be taken care of. All of sudden Berlusconi and Galliani may be playing risky and dirty in a way put all weight on his shoulders saying "We hope Kaka stays we hope he choses Milan".
    To the public it Kaka now who should make the decison and probably will but he didn't expect this a few days ago when was smilling in front of Milan channel saying that wants to get old in Milan.

    4) Berlsuconi and Galliani - if they did what I am suggesting, they shoud've known that they are playing risky game - particulary with the fans. Reaction was strong and is gorwing - quite a lot people includng the very Giorgo Armani said that if current management have to sell Kaka better sell the club then.

    After Saturday night protests at San Siro where the fans suggested to Galliani to sell his son instead of Kaka now at this very moment there's huge protest outside Milan offices organised by the Ultras. In the previous days also a few rockets were thrown in the garden outside the building and it is reported that Galliani is moving with bodyguards now.

    Berlusconi and Galliani were quite aware that there will be strong reaction and they know they are moving on the edge now.

    So everybody know tries to get out of this X-files situation.

    Especially when after yesterday loss there's appears to be a mini crysis in Inter and first sparkles of fire between Mourihno and inter appeared. Milan looks back in contention for the title of serie A now by all means and we need to focus on this as Inter game is just 3 weeks away.

  • Comment number 69.

    Kaka should NOT leave under any circumstances. I'm not exaggerating when I say that his decision to stay/leave is one of the biggest crossroads in the history of football.

    If he stays, all is well.

    If he leaves, he gives the green light for Man City's owners to make similar bids for other top players like Messi, Ribery, Aguero, Benzema etc. And with their financial muscle, I don't think any club can refuse their bids, which is a terrible scenario because it means that clubs will no longer be able to hang on to their top talent and all it takes to build a successful team is a mega-rich backer.

    And this is before we consider the inflation that will occur when players are being regularly bought in excess of £100 million.

  • Comment number 70.

    are you off your rocker, tim? Kaka, or any other professional sportsman, woman, or child would go anywhere if the money was right. It's about money, nothing else. It has nothing to do with daddy's job. That's why we call them professionals. They don't even make the decisions. Someone makes them for them. Now if City buys Kaka, which I doubt, they will be wasting their time and losing their money. Kaka is nothing without the 10 others players. The only player that I ever saw that could carry any team anywhere was Diego Armando Maradona when he was at his best.

  • Comment number 71.

    Tim, what do you think he should do?

  • Comment number 72.

    M4th1as (comment 17)

    "they need someone like internacional's guinazu, hardworking, efficient and no-BS"

    But Guinazu is... Argentinian, and there lies the problem.

    Oh, and yesterday the roof of the church Kaka got married fell and killed 10 people, injuring over 50. If you believe in signs, what does this one says?

  • Comment number 73.

    The pursuit of Kaka is Manchester City’s statement of intent. They can’t lose. If he signs, fantastic for everyone at the club and Premiership fans everywhere. If he doesn’t, at least every top player knows the wages on offer at Eastlands and those out of contract or with buyout clauses in the summer will be chomping at the bit.

    From a business perspective, the Arab owners are being shrewd. Other foreign owners of England’s top clubs are under financial pressure and less able to splash the cash, so now is the time to press home their advantage and buy the best talent if they have the money.

    Everyone who rubbishes the idea should listen to the thoughts of Jose Mourinho - "Obviously when there's a club that goes to Real Madrid and AC Milan to do it’s shopping, all the other big teams are at risk.” In the current economic climate, it’s only a matter of time before even the so-called big clubs face financial restrictions and their star players, and managers, will be tempted by the bottomless pockets of Man City’s owners.

  • Comment number 74.

    Thought it was fire ?

    Hope this news has reached Kaka as well.

    Indeed it is thrilling coincidence.

    It's an incredible situation.

    Fans are shouting outside Kaka's window and his father is basically selling him just a few kilometers away.

    Sad if Kaka finishes like this in the middle of nowhere with his bank account as only satisfaction left. Sad for him, sad for Milan and sad for the football.

    My only hope is that Berlusconi likes very much dramatic comebacks and never gives up on anything so easily.

    He might have kept the final act for himself turning all this into a happy end.

  • Comment number 75.

    i think that folk are being fairly hypocritical, if you have unlimited funds as city do you would buy the best players and if man city get kaka then players of lesser ability will find it more appealing, who wouldn't want to play in the same team as a world player of the year, but over the next few years they need to get an improvement on their scouting setup and bring on good quality youngsters rather than picking more 'obvious' targets

  • Comment number 76.

    Here in Italy Berlusconi said it will be very hard for Milan to hold on to Kaka (emphasis on the last syllable, by the way, as in "bizarre!"). It's likely Il Cavaliero (aka Ashphalt Head) will see to that himself. The man is passionate money...

  • Comment number 77.

    According to Berlusconi, Kaka WON'T be joining Man City. Good news for the footballing world.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment is answer to ALIMANA, or close to that, "how much would Maradona would be worth if he was playing today?" Answer: One third of Pelé´s worth, if Pelé was playing today! The most accomplished player, speaking of football results, certainly would be worth an unbelievable amount! Cheers !!!

  • Comment number 79.

    "he would face the almost certain prospect of a second consecutive year out of the Champions League."

    So what. No one has a divine right to play in it.

    "If he decides to stay put, I think there will be one clear loser - and it is not Manchester City."

    It is football, as the same clubs dominate every season and fans switch off in droves

    Something for the media to think about as they illegally tap up players like Berbatov

  • Comment number 80.

    My only hope is that Berlusconi likes very much dramatic comebacks and never gives up on anything so easily.

    He might have kept the final act for himself turning all this into a happy end.

    Haha - I told you I know this old fox and his tricks. Although he made all believe that Kaka is leaving I couldn't believe him.

    This man is enigmatic and invincible! And loves theater!

    Poor City :)

    Kaka refused the big money but then nobody could have taken the responsability for this - neither Kaka nor the club.

    Last reports were suggesting that tranfer fee was about 130 mil EUR with additional 19 mln EUR for Kaka per season.

  • Comment number 81.

    Hey, people are getting things wrong about Kaká's upbringing! He was not poor but he wasn't rich either! He was upper middle class for Brazilian standards. Probably just middle class for European and American standards! Besides, the kind of money being talked about is astronomic for anyone! If you want to talk about his values, those can affect his decision. But whatever that decision is, I am not going to criticize him. Has any of you tried to place yourself in his shoes? It is easy to be on a high horse and think of yourself of being above everything, the other thing is to live the situation!

  • Comment number 82.

    By the way, I think Lampard is one of the greatest players right now, if not the greatest, but you have to be on a winning team to get the credit! Look at Cristiano Ronaldo´s and see all the hardworking players he is surrounded with... Just 2 of them: Tevez and Rooney!

  • Comment number 83.

    Some may argue that what is happening over at Eastlands is a travesty, and I can see where they are coming from entirely; but I have to say I am excited by the prospect of seeing players of such a calibre plying their trade in the Premier League. As a fan of Manchester United, I would be lying if I said that I'm happy that it's City with all of this money behind them, but the fact remains it will do wonders for the Premier League. At least in the short term that is.

    £130 Million is an insane amount for a single player, there's no arguing with that, and the rumoured £500k a week even more so; but it would be a credit to the Premier League to have Kaka amongst its ranks. I do worry however, for the rest of the players over at Eastlands, and can see a lot of them becoming disillusioned by the fact that Kaka could be earning more than 5 times the amount of anybody else at the club. It must be a glorious time for the fans though!

    The new owners have done exactly what I expected them to do in this transfer window; and it had to be Kaka. Messi owes too much to Barcelona after they helped him through his growth hormone deficiency, and why should he want to leave. Barcelona are on fire at the moment; and with Lyon in the next round of the Champions League, have to be the favourites. In all honesty I would be very surprised if he does not finish out his playing days over at the Nou Camp. They say every man has his price; but not him. Cristiano Ronaldo will not leave United for City. Madrid maybe, but never City.

    That leaves Kaka. In my opinion, the second best of the 3 in terms of ability and potential ability. Given that he is not proven in the Premier League like Ronaldo is however, he'd be at the bottom of my list if I were the City board, but as I've said; the other two were never going to happen, where as this one was merely improbable. I was about to write how I felt sorry for him, but given that he's being offered £500k a week, I'll refrain from doing so. It is terrible however, that Milan are pushing him out of the door. I can't blame them for taking the money. You'd have to be a fool not to, but by accepting the bid, they have left Kaka with little choice but to pack up his things and leave. The way they've spun it to look like Kakas fault to the fans will be the final coffin in his Milan career, and I think he knew this on Saturday when he held on to his shirt. Kaka will be at Eastlands before this window is shut. Weather he's there in 2 years is a different matter.

    The City board however, are confusing me greatly at the moment. They make a huge gesture of intent by bidding for Kaka; and then bring in a mediocre player like Bellamy. Ok. Perhaps mediocre is a little unfair. Bellamy is a good player; but it was my understanding that the new owners planned on creating a world class team. In comparison to Kaka and Robhino, Bellamy is Sunday league. The signing of Kaka will be enough to persuade a lot of the top players in the world that City is a good choice. Hopefully one or two during this transfer window (although it's looking unlikely at the moment, unless you count De Jong). Personally, I'd love to see David Villa and David Silva brought in from Valencia. Those are the sort of players they should be signing, not Bellamy.

    I look forward to seeing the outcome of this bid though. There's no doubt Kaka would (and imo, will) light up the Premier League, and help cement its position as the best league in the world. It's just the inflation in player values and wages that worries me a little. You can bet your house on Ronaldo wanting similar wages to Kaka, as well as a lot of other big players. We'll deal with that when it comes though. This was always going to happen eventually...

  • Comment number 84.

    to - acmilanfan

    looks like you were correct my friend, he has indeed turned down the offer of maga bucks, I for one was in agreeance with you, that in the end he would turn down the offer thus making football the overall winner and not money!

    you made some very good, valid and interesting points, it has been a pleasure reading your insights and slant on what actually goes on behind the curtains at milan, that not a lot of people in England will know or realise.

  • Comment number 85.

    all the talk of "living in manchester" whether a nice place to live or not is absurd
    how many of man utds millionaires live in manchester?
    he will live in a suburb somewhere outside the boundary of manchester in a place where all the city hustle and bustle will be easy to forget

  • Comment number 86.

    The Kaka Saga...supporters of any club would have liked to see Kaka in the Premier League., there is no doubt about that. What went wrong in my opinion was City's amateurish approach to AC Milan. You don't throw money at a player like Kaka and expect him to dance to City's tune, he's way much better than that so I am not surprised he turned City down. Let's face it, City don't have a recent track record so why on earth would he want to move? Obviously it's not money so for City's sake, learn the lesson that you can't buy yourself success. For Kaka, congratulations on using your common sense.

  • Comment number 87.

    Hello Tim, Am a keen reader of your blogs and your contribution on H&J but I was wondering maybe what your thoughts on Kaka to Real this summer now that it looks like Perez is going to replace calderon? and maybe Robinho to Chelsea? Also could you possibly enlighten me about Hernandes? As I've heard alot about but have seen little of.
    Many thanks.

  • Comment number 88.

    Well Tim,

    As a Blackburn fan,I was wondering if you had heard anything on the progress of Carlos Villanueva.
    In the few games he has played he has had an influence in a few goals and showed some class.
    I remember you saying on the radio last summer that he was a good talent with a decent left peg.
    Do you think Allardyce should feature him more?



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