Manchester City’s former chief executive reveals a transfer had been arranged.
Former Manchester City chief executive Gerry Cook has surprised many be revealing AC Milan legend Kaka nearly came to the Premier League for £100m.
Cook says that the Citizens and Milan agreed a deal for the Brazilian to make the switch to the Etihad Stadium in 2008, only for the Italians to go back on the deal at the last moment.
Kaka is also said to have deeply regretted not making the move to England, after an unsuccessful four-year spell with Real Madrid between 2009 and 2013.
“I’ve still got the documentation that confirmed Milan had agreed to sell the player to us,” Cook was quoted by the Mirror.
“In fact, I have got a picture where I am holding up a City shirt with Kaka on the back with Milan CEO Adriano Galliani. That’s how far we had got.
“But it was clear they had underestimated how selling Kaka would upset the fans and when I went to negotiate with the player’s father about terms, it was clear something wasn’t right.
“They started making the most outrageous demands. There was no way we could meet those terms and I remember asking what the hell was going on.
“Milan agreed to sell Kaka to us. When they saw the negative reaction of the fans, they went back on their word.
“I later saw Kaka at Robinho’s wedding. He admitted that maybe he should have signed for City and that maybe we could try for him again. I told him that ship had sailed.
“I recently met Kaka again at a UFC event and this time he admitted that he deeply regretted not signing for City.”
The attacking midfielder eventually made a then world record £56m transfer to Madrid, only to return to the San Siro last summer after playing 129 matches for Los Blancos.