Following City’s 2008 takeover by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group, the club were sensationally linked to many world-class footballers such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
One name who was more seriously linked with a move to Manchester was Brazilian superstar and 2007 Ballon d’Or winner, Kaka - whose arrival would have sent shockwaves across the complexity of European football.
Unfortunately for City supporters, the extraordinary move never materialised and Kaka - then of AC Milan - eventually moved to Real Madrid six months later. Over twelve years on, the World Cup winner has commented on perhaps the most famous transfer that never took place.
In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, Brazilian icon Kaka has commented on the potential move that would have saw him trade Milan for Manchester.
During the interview, Kaka was asked, “Is there any truth in the rumour that you rejected Roman Abramovich’s offer to join Chelsea in 2009, before signing for Real Madrid?”.
Kaka denied that there was any truth to said rumour, insisting that there were only “informal talks”, however the now 39 year-old confirmed that he had received an offer from Manchester City.
Kaka stated, “The real offer I got from an English club was Manchester City’s, around six months before I moved to Madrid. City were in the early days of their project to become a dominant club in Europe, and they wanted me to be one of their leaders on the pitch."
"But I didn’t think it was the right time to leave Milan. Real Madrid was the only club I’d ever consider going to if Milan wanted me to leave."
Following on, Kaka noted, “When City made the offer, Milan told me they were happy with it and keen to go ahead with the deal, to organise their finances."
"The doors were open to leave, and I said no. But I also told the club I’d happily go to Real Madrid if an offer came in the next window. It did.”
Kaka’s comments reveal that AC Milan were willing to allow the Brazilian international to leave the club owing to the magnitude of the fee offered to the club, which according to The Manchester Evening News was understood to be in the region of £88 million – a fee that would have made Kaka the most expensive player in the world at the time.
Whilst Kaka’s decision to not join Manchester City was of course disappointing for supporters of the club, it is an understandable decision considering that in January 2009, the Sky Blues were floundering in mid-table whilst AC Milan were challenging for the Serie A title.
You can read the full interview between Kaka and FourFourTwo here.
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