x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Berlusconi: Kaka move decided by Monday

The AC Milan president tells fans a decision will be made on Kaka's proposed £56 million move to Real Madrid on Monday.

Kaka, centre, currently with the Brazil squad in Rio de Janeiro as they make preparations for their Wolrd Cup qualifiers.
Kaka, centre, currently with the Brazil squad in Rio de Janeiro as they make preparations for their Wolrd Cup qualifiers.

There could be a new world record transfer deal in place by Monday as the AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi sets a deadline on Kaka's proposed £56 million (Dh335.5m) move to Real Madrid. Premier League side Chelsea have moved to distance themselves from reports they were in the running for the Brazilian playmaker's signature, while Berlusconi's ominous and somewhat defeatist words suggest he is resigned to losing his man, with the player having the final say on the outcome. "I will meet Kaka on Monday and then I'll tell you," Berlusconi said on Italian state television station Rai. "It is always the players who decide on their future, who have to decide how to pursue their career. I did all I could but in the end he took his decision." Reports on Wednesday night suggested that Chelsea had tabled a huge bid worth £73.5 million, but the club denied making any offer. A statement on the club's official website read: "We have never made an offer to AC Milan for Kaka and therefore not one at this extraordinary level. "As a consequence we have not discussed a salary with the player either. "Any reports to the contrary are totally untrue." Milan general manager and vice president Adriano Galliani confirmed today that a move to London was not in the pipeline and that the player would remain at the San Siro unless a deal with Real was concluded. He told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport: "An agreement with Chelsea could not exist. Kaka goes to Real or he remains at Milan. "That is his choice and we are doing everything in complete agreement. "Negotiations (with Real) do exist, but an agreement is not done." Kaka, who was granted Italian citizenship in 2007, has continually stated his desire to remain with the Rossoneri, for whom he is a catalyst of the team and a hero to the fans. On Tuesday an exasperated Kaka pleaded in Gazetto dello Sport for questions on his future to desist, saying he was committed to the Milan cause. "I'll say it for the last time. The last time. I don't want to leave Milan. To the millions of Milan supporters, I say that I have made my choice. I have said I want to stay. Leave me in peace, please." However, Milan's admissions that they are in negotiations with the Spanish giants suggests that the former World Player of the Year could be the first signing in a new 'Galactico' era at Madrid under the returning Florentino Perez as club president. Perez decorated Los Merengues' playing staff with the best players on the planet during his first tenure between 2000-06, with stars like Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo and Luis Figo all acquired to create a team capable of dominating on the domestic and European front. As Real flexed their financial muscle to lure the cream of the footballing crop, the rest of the world could only sit by and watch with jaws dropped as superstar followed superstar through the door at El Santiago Bernabeu. If Kaka can be tempted to switch Serie A for La Liga, Perez's second presidency will pick up where his first left off, meaning several of the world's top performers including Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, being headhunted to usher in a second generation of Galacticos.

sluckings@thenational.ae *With agencies