The future of Kaka remains shrouded in doubt after AC Milan general manager Adriano Galliani hinted it would be hard to turn down a substantial offer for the Brazilian this summer.
Kaka has long been a target of Real Madrid while Chelsea are expected to manifest their own interest having appointed Carlo Ancelotti as their manager. And Galliani could not rule out a sale as he predicts a mass exodus from Serie A if nothing is done to improve the whole footballing infrastructure in Italy.
“With the risk of sounding boring, if we continue like this, we will become a small league,” he said. “We have had requests for Kaka and Pato from two of Europe’s biggest clubs and we will try and resist the assault from these European clubs who have more money than us. But there is an uneven playing field. I remember when we signed (Marco) van Basten and we competed with Barcelona for his signature, and he chose us. Today, Barcelona and Real Madrid have an income which is double that of ours.”
Not only do the clubs in Spain and England earn more money from television revenue and marketing than the leading Serie A sides, but they can also offer more attractive wages due to more beneficial taxation rules and this, according to Galliani, is pricing Italian clubs out of the market.
“In the mid to long term, players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not going to come here,” he said. “Thierry Henry had the same offer from Milan than he did from Barcelona but he told us he could get 50% more in Spain, so he joined Barcelona. We have got to ask ourselves why nobody is thinking of coming here. The problem with Kaka and Pato is a bigger issue. You can discover any player you like but if you cannot pay them the wages of a big club, then they go somewhere else. That was the case with Cristiano Ronaldo with Sporting Lisbon and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Ajax. They had to move on.”
Even Milan’s new coach Leonardo seemed sceptical about having Kaka in his squad next season. He said:
“I think that Kaka, like any world-class player, is always wanted by other clubs. He is a man who will always be in the market. I cannot deny that I hope he continues to play for us as he is a key player for this club. But it is normal that he is wanted on the market.”
However, despite confirming there is interest from other clubs for Kaka and Pato, Galliani insists “no contract has been signed with anybody else” as yet.
“Kaka is a Milan player,” he affirmed. “The fact other clubs are so interested in our players proves that we were right to sign them.”