My Soccer World

Football: Kaka Deal Will Take Time, Says City Boss Hughes

Posted on: January 18, 2009

MANCHESTER, England: Mark Hughes has warned Manchester City’s fans that a proposed world record transfer deal for AC Milan’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka will not be wrapped up quickly.

City will step up their efforts to sign the Brazilian over the next few days with a delegation from the club due to meet in Milan with the player’s father, Bosco Leite, who acts as one of his main advisors.

But Hughes warned that the deal is far from done.

Speaking after watching his side defeat Wigan Athletic 1-0 at Eastlands on Saturday, Hughes said: “It’s well documented that a delegation went to Milan to try and investigate the possibility of bringing an outstanding player to this club.

“It’s very early in the discussions in that regard. From my point of view I’d love to have the opportunity to work with such a talented player.

“But it’s not a simple transfer. It’s not a case of just talking to the club, talking to the player and getting the deal done within 24 or 48 hours.

“If it is to be concluded, it’s very complex.

“There are so many elements to it that it’s not going to be an easy process and it won’t be concluded quickly.

“We have to do it in this window, but will give it the amount of time it deserves.

“The idea is to meet his father. It’s a special situation that we find ourselves in.

“We’re interested in one of the top players in the world. We will give it the time it deserves.”

Hughes had earlier underlined that the pursuit of Kaka was a reflection of the scale of City’s ambitions following last year’s Abu Dhabi takeover.

“Our owners, myself and (chief executive) Garry Cook are intent on making this club into a major presence on the world stage, and I think that we are showing that we are serious in making good on these intentions.”

City officials have become increasingly optimistic that a bid in excess of 100 million euros will enable them to get their man with his current club, AC Milan, having signalled that they are willing to sell.

The key question now is whether Kaka himself is willing to swap the San Siro for a club struggling in the bottom half of the Premier League.

There was a further sign on Saturday that Milan are ready to sell when the club’s owner, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said he would understand if Kaka opted to take the huge salary being proffered by City.

“Nothing is decided yet but it is very difficult to ask someone to stay and respect his contract when he has been offered such a huge amount of money,” Belusconi said.

Kaka signalled his reluctance to leave Milan last week when he claimed he wanted to grow old at the club and captain the former European champions one day, but the 26-year-old’s thinking may have since been influenced by the club’s apparent willingness to cash in their most valuable asset.

Hughes last week rejected suggestions that City’s Abu Dhabi owners had launched the bid for Kaka without consulting him, the manager insisting that he had drafted plans to integrate the playmaker into his side.

Part of that plan involves bringing Blackburn’s Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester with the Paraguayan striker expected to form a strike partnership with Robinho and Kaka playing just behind them.

Blackburn are holding out for an increased offer from City having turned down two bids, the last of which was in excess of 12 million pounds.

But the player is determined to be reunited with former Blackburn boss Hughes and stepped up his campaign to be released by saying he would love to play alongside Kaka.

“Certainly to have a player like Kaka in your side would be great,” he said. “I know City are a team looking to become big in the future. They have a lot of ambition.

“They are looking to bring in some big players and aiming for the Champions League.”

Santa Cruz added: “My agent has been contacted by other clubs but the fact is Mark Hughes is a manager I know.”

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres meanwhile has warned Kaka that he would be making a mistake by joining City.

“Big players want to win trophies and Manchester City is not even in the race for trophies in England,” Torres said.

– AFP/yt

Channel News Asia

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