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Kaka - fantasy or folly?

Manchester City
by Paul Fletcher (U1816326) 14 January 2009
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Manchester City were always likely to be the headline-grabbing act during the January transfer window – and the revelation that they are actively pursuing AC Milan forward Kaka has ensured that they have delivered.

Previously we had to be content with City signing Chelsea reserve full-back Wayne Bridge, signed for a fee in the region of £10m, and rumoured bids for the likes of Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker.

All good players but not exactly box office.

City’s pursuit of Kaka, on the other hand, fulfils everybody’s expectations of the sort of world class, extraordinarily expensive footballing talent that a club bankrolled by the fabulously wealthy Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan can afford to sign.

City’s owner flexed his muscles with the £30m capture of Robinho from Real Madrid in August but now seems to be moving his spending to a whole new level.

The back pages of Wednesday’s newspapers are dominated by images of sublime Brazilian Kaka, with a range of transfer fees up to £100m and talk of weekly wages of £500,000 dominating the column inches.

For the record, the world record transfer currently stands at the £47m Real Madrid paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane.

I personally think that £100m for a footballer is a disgusting amount – and that to pay someone £500,000 per week to kick a football, no matter how brilliantly, perfectly illustrates just how insane our world actually is.

On the other hand, City’s owner is worth a reported £15bn. He can afford to play fantasy football and is now doing so. And I could hardly blame City fans if the prospect of the Brazilian arriving at the club was a cause of real excitement.

But if City sign Kaka I think it raises more questions than answers.

Obviously Kaka is quality and would enhance any side but is he really the sort of player City need in this transfer window?

City make me think of one of those wild west towns that you see in the movies. As you walk down the street they look great at the front but, on closer inspection, they have nothing at the back.

Manager Mark Hughes has plenty of attacking talent to call on in Robinho, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland, Elano, Darius Vassell, Benjani, Jo, Felipe Caicedo and Daniel Sturridge. Martin Petrov will return before the end of the season, as will Valeri Bojinov.

All six of their Premier League victories have been by at least three goals but I cannot help but wonder whether their 10 defeats should not be of more pressing concern. It is why they are 15th in the Premier League table.

City have been linked with Villarreal’s defensive midfielder Marcos Senna. He was brilliant at Euro 2008 and is exactly the sort of player City need. Dietmar Hamann’s legs had been starting to show their age but now the German is injured and he must be replaced.

Micah Richards has been disappointing this season and City might be advised to bolster their defensive options.

The pursuit of Santa Cruz, Bellamy and Parker feels to me like Hughes’s targets – proven Premier League players who will help to improve his squad climb the table. I wonder how he feels about the pursuit of Kaka?

Hughes is in a near impossible position, presiding over a struggling team while trying to meld the competing forces of pragmatism and fantasy football.

You often hear people talk about a player being a good acquisition for the Premier League and the arrival of Kaka would enhance the quality of the division.

But it cannot do much for the prospects of City’s home grown players. City are regarded as having one of the best youth systems in the Premier League and in Sturridge have produced a forward who has shown glimpses of great potential. Will players like him get the chance to flourish at City?

The Manchester club has long lived in the shadow of city rival’s United but that all seems set to change now that the owner appears to be backing up his talk of big things by opening his wallet.

City have always been a club rich in drama and entertainment. And the arrival of Kaka would certainly make for fascinating viewing.

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posted Jan 20, 2009

This latest snub by kaka could have serious consequences for Citeh. The Arabs are used to getting whatever they want by throwing their money around. Now they realise money alone cannot always attract the best players.

What is as important other than the money is the stage of football they can offer. Citeh need a platform to be able to entice the very best players to the club. First they must be in a position to challenge for the title and be seen as a top 4 club. That will take years to achieve and many setbacks along the way. Citeh will have to knock either Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea or Utd out of the top 4 to be looked upon as a serious title contender. Something that isn't going to happen overnight or even in the next few years. Then they will be in a position to offer champion's league football, another huge platform to which these superstars need to be playing in. Citeh are a long way off that yet which now gives me concerns over Citeh's new owners. Will they wait years before they see any progress? The Arabs will want instant success and want all the best players playing for them, gain monopoly on everyone, something which isn't coming quick or guaranteed to happen at any cost.

I can see them losing patience very swiftly and can see them weighing up alternatives. Will they look elsewhere for a club that are already tailor made for them, a club already in top flight football that can offer all the incentives that Citeh cannot?

Inter Milan? Ac Milan? Real Madrid? Barcelona? Liverpool? Arsenal? Chelsea? Utd? Bayern Munich? Lyon?

If they offer enough they could possibly buy a number of the clubs above that all can give them the platform to inject extra cash for instant success or at least be able to lure the best players to their team.

Just a thought.....

People laughed at Chelsea back in 2003 when Abramovich took over the club, saying he wouldn't stay that long and that he would get bored, yet Abramovich had a plan to invest first and to build upon a platform already in place seeing Chelsea were already in the champion's league and challenging for the title as a top 4 club.

I also feel that if Abramovich does ever decide to sell the club he would only sell to worthy buyers who are considerably wealthy and who would have the club in their best interests.

What Citeh are trying to do is comical at best. They are hoping that big name stars will join a mid table team, closer to the relegation dogfight than the title, nowhere near a champion's league place with no platform to build on with absolutely no guarantee for any success. They hope these stars will be enticed by the money which is becoming abundantly clear that this isn't the case at all. Players like Kaka are intelligent, wealthy already and regarded as great professionals that can grace the world stage, something that Citeh cannot offer them.

Robinho is different gravy for me. He's a larger short of a 4 pack who was easily misled. He was promised that Citeh would sign all the best players and will challenge for everything in no time and the kid bought it.....how gullible!

Already he is showing signs of unrest when he sees not only big stars beginning to snub his club but also his close pal. He must feel deceived and led up the garden path or he is feeling shame and embarrassment for not seeing the obvious warning signs that any normal person could have seen for themselves. How annoyed he must be to see his employers offering his mate 500 grand a week when they only offered him 90 grand.

I sense trouble ahead and I feel these Arabs will not hang around if the club struggle to move forward or attract big name stars. By throwing stupendous amounts of money at everything will gain many enemies instead of friends. Already they are accusing Milan of this and that....not the way to go boys!

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posted Jan 21, 2009

its a complete let down that the greatest player in the world wouldnt be strutting his stuff in unquestionably the greatest league in the world, even if it was with Man City. No offence intended whatsover to City but i cant help but think that if United, Chelsea or even Liverpool or Arsenal had made the same bid he would of gone. He does want to play in the Prem, but city just arent good enough i dont think. There is unrest in the team, there in the bottom half of the table, City are good at saying where they want to be in the future, but over than the odd flash of the cash, are in no better of a position than they were last year

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kaka is not the best player in the world because officially, christian ronaldo is and kaka wold not have been a good plauyer at city just like robinho and all the other hotshots that claim to be good and anyway this kind of money is spoiling the beautiful game and this should not be aloud.

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posted Jan 22, 2009

The full extent of Manchester City's difficulties in the transfer window were revealed when it emerged that the club had also tried and failed to sign David Villa, Gianluigi Buffon and Thierry Henry before their aborted £91m world-record bid for Kaka. (The Guardian).

If this is true, could this be the first evidence to suggest that the established 'big' clubs around Europe are not going to allow Man City to crash the party?

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posted Jan 23, 2009

Chelsea logic,

Seriously - are you that put out by City replacing Chelsea as the financial powerhouse in the PL? Seeing as your a selling club now, I expect we'll see more dark blues becoming light blues, but good luck anyway in all the trophies youre aiming for, you mighty top 4 team you.

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posted Jan 23, 2009

Can't be bothered to read frighteningly unhinged and long bitter rants by a Chelsea fan lecturing another club on spending policy - especially when Chelsea are nothing more than a team of mercenaries who are only playing for the team because of the money. Even 'loyal legends' Lampard and Terry required to be made Prem top earners to stay!

But Logic is right about money not being the most important thing - look at Chelsea; it can't buy you team spirit, and it certainly can't buy players love for a club, or their fellow players.

But it is utter nonsense that City need to be a "top four club" before players come - 8th and up will demonstrate enough promise, and developing a good side, team spirit and club atmosphere will certainly be enough to attract quality players.

City, you nearly bagged Kaka, and from what it sounds it was Kaka's dad who ballsed up the deal wanting more, not the player himself.

City are on the brink of either being a very good team, or a side in turmoil - let's hope your owners calm down a bit and realise that investment in time and care is more important than finance.

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posted Jan 23, 2009

assache,

These reports are from the same papers who assumed Kaka would be paid half a mil a week (funny how they knew this when the club didnt even speak to the player).

This doesnt say anything about the old guard of Europe not letting City buy the top players, but more about the players themselves not seeing City as a step up (and quite rightly so as well). We cant offer European or even League success just now so money is all we can offer. Hopefully, with some wise investment though that will change over the next year or 2. Remember, we've only had this wad of cash for 6 months and this is the first window we were able to buy with it. Theres a long road ahead...

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posted Jan 23, 2009

I love it that the arab petro dollars cant buy what they want. When they want. Thanks Kaka, you have my utmost respect. If only Robinho had that same mentality...
If these Petrol Sheiks have so much money, why cant they put it to good use? Other than a spoilt rich mans plaything such as a football club.

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posted Jan 23, 2009

City, you nearly bagged Kaka, and from what it sounds it was Kaka's dad who ballsed up the deal wanting more, not the player himself.


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EP, you don't follow your sources too correctly do you?

Kaka himself said the deal breaking down had nothing to do with Milan or his father but himself only.

What did he say???

It took him 20 seconds to say NOlaugh

Mr Cook and City tried bribing Milan to sell their most prized asset but didn't count on the player himself sticking 2 fingers up to a club offering him relegation battling footy.

Good on that man. All he needs to do now is sign for Chelsea for 40 million and collect the same wage as his team mate Lampard. Happy days all round for everyonebiggrin

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posted Feb 4, 2009

What is with all this Anti-city garbage that people keep writing. City have money because some Arab billionaire, (after looking at several premier league clubs), saw them as a good investment for the future.
It seems that all the red tops and even some of the broadsheets find nothing better than having a go at the eastlands ouitfit. So city went for Kaka, well if I had a few hundred grand wearing a hole in my pockets would I buy a jaguar or a Bentley. It now seems that the mighty footballing force that is Wigan are prepared to have a pop. Bruce Digusted with City behaviour regarding Wilson Palacios. I guess calling a chairman and asking about the availability of a player is totally against the rules. Maybe a secret text message to the player himself is the way to go these days. Mr Bruce certainly made his feeling known, and to all accounts his chairman fully suported his commenst. See section of an article by Dave Whelan.

I MUST say, City were extremely straight with us at Wigan when they showed an interest in Wilson Palacios.

I was a bit surprised when our manager Steve Bruce had a go at them - I told him so.

Wilson may have been a bit overawed when he played against City for us.

It wasn't one of his better games and Mark Hughes probably saw this and thought twice about taking him to City. I don't know, it's just my view.

So come on all you "I've nothing to report so i'll write garbage about city" red tops, and broadsheets, you know who you are. Give the only team in Manchester a chance and pick on someone your own size - and Mr Bruce, have some guts and come out and make an apology for the rubbish you spurted out.

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