Brazilian superstar Kaka has revealed in an interview with FourFourTwo just how close he was to completing a world record £100m move to Manchester City in 2009.
In the early days after the famous Abu Dhabi takeover, City sought some of the world’s biggest names to elevate the brand, with Kaka at the top of the list. However, the Seleção star infamously “bottled it” in the words of former chief executive Garry Cook, eventually moving to Real Madrid instead.
And in a new interview in the November 2017 edition of FourFourTwo, Kaka has given insight as to how advanced his mooted move to the City of Manchester Stadium was.
“The negotiations between City and I went very far indeed. The only thing separating City and I was my final word. I found myself wondering what my life playing in England would be like.
“It came to the point where all of the numbers and the finer details had been discussed. The wages I had been offered were much, much higher than what I was earning with Milan.
“I found myself wondering what my life playing in England would be like, what my routine at this new club would be, how difficult it would be for my kids and my wife to move home. All of these thoughts were swirling inside my head.”
In the end, Kaka wasn’t convinced that the City project was at the right stage for him and decided to remain at AC Milan for a while longer.
“I had absolutely no idea that City were interested in signing me until they’d actually made their official offer to Milan. They had gone straight to Milan.
“I came to the conclusion that it was not quite the right time for me to go to City, and the main reason was the uncertainty over the squad-building process.
“It wasn’t clear to me how the squad would be reshaped and I wasn’t convinced it would work. I was being asked to swap one of the most historic and successful clubs in Europe for a team who were only at the beginning of a new project, where I was supposed to be the first big player. It was safer to stay at Milan.”
At the time, Man City were ridiculed by the media for missing out on Kaka, but in retrospect it was a blessing in disguise. The iconic Brazilian was past his best due to injuries and a year later City invested a much smaller fee on David Silva, who went on to become one of Europe’s predominant playmakers.