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Old 15th January 2009, 12:57   #1
chriselkins
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Default Manchester City's limitless riches start to tempt Kaka

Manchester City's limitless riches start to tempt Kaka

Oliver Kay
January 15 2009
Times

The most stunning transfer in the game’s history moved closer last night as Kaká, the AC Milan forward, indicated that he will listen to Manchester City’s plans for world domination at a proposed meeting on Monday.

City are willing to dwarf the world transfer record by paying Milan an improved fee of ¤105 million (about £95 million) for Kaká, who will consider their offer of £500,000 a week in wages if the Barclays Premier League club can convince him that their “project” is a serious one.

Neither Kaká nor Milan has accepted the riches on offer from Sheikh Mansour, City’s fabulously wealthy owner, but, despite some contradictory statements yesterday, club and player realise that the money could prove too good to turn down.

City, having sent a delegation to Italy on Tuesday to talk to Adriano Galliani, the Milan executive vice- president, remain cautious about their prospects of pulling off the deal, but, highly encouraged by the prospect of a second meeting next week, they believe there is a chance that an improbable coup could become a reality.

Contrary to the indications given yesterday, when he talked of his ambition to “grow old with Milan”, Kaká has told his agent, Diogo Kotscho, and Galliani that he may well accept City’s offer if the conditions are right. These apply not only to his wages, which would be worth £13.6 million a year after tax, but also to Milan’s acquiescence and the legitimacy of City’s plans and ambitions.

Sources indicated last night that he would demand an escape clause that would allow him to leave City for a predetermined fee at the end of the 2009-10 campaign if the club had not qualified for the Champions League.

Many observers seemed to write off the prospects of a deal after Kotscho was quoted yesterday saying that the Brazil forward “would never do something like Robinho, who [in leaving Real Madrid for City in a British record £34.2million deal in September], just to earn more, contented himself with not a winning solution”.

In the next breath, however, Kotscho said that his client may be tempted by a move if persuaded of “the competitiveness of the English side”. Later, in an interview with the BBC, Kotscho made clear that the situation remained live and indicated that Kaká and Milan were open to persuasion. “It is not impossible,” Kotscho said. “If Milan let us talk, then we will see what City have to offer. It was a great proposal but it’s not about only money. We have to see if Manchester City have a project to become a Champions League team and become one of the top teams in the world and to stay there long term.”

City were given further encouragement by a change in the public statements of Kaká, who, over the course of the day, went from expressing his lasting commitment to Milan, claiming that he hoped one day to succeed Paolo Maldini as captain, to saying that the ball was in the court of his employers. “I don’t know anything about the bid, but I always said that as long as my objectives match Milan’s objectives, I will stay at the club,” Kaká told Sky Italia. “But if they want to sell me, I’ll sit down and talk. I can say that as long as the club don’t want to sell me, I will definitely stay.”

From the moment that Sheikh Mansour, via his Abu Dhabi United Group investment vehicle, acquired City on September 1, immediately buying Robinho from Real, he had planned to make another “marquee signing” this month. City are known to have used Kia Joorabchian, their preferred transfer broker, to establish contact with Kotscho. Joorabchian was part of the City delegation that flew to Milan, along with Garry Cook, the chief executive, and two representatives of the Sheikh.

City may have been frustrated in their attempt to buy Craig Bellamy from West Ham United, who have rejected a third bid of £10 million for the forward, but it is the prospect of signing Kaká that is dominating talk at the City of Manchester Stadium.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/spo...cle5519652.ece
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