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Wed 14 Jan 2009 08:14 AM

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Abu Dhabi fails in $150mn bid for star Kaka

UPDATE 1: Man City offer for Brazilian not enough to lure him away from AC Milan.

Brazilian superstar Kaka on Wednesday dismissed speculation linking him with mega-rich Manchester City by claiming that he wants to grow old at AC Milan.

Earlier in the day English newspaper reports claimed City had made a staggering world record offer of $150 million for the former World Player of the Year.

But Kaka was quick to respond and pledge his future to the Italian giants.

"I want to grow old at Milan," he told Mediaset, the media group owned by Milan president Silvio Berlusconi.

"My aim in the future is to become the captain of this team. I know there is a hierarchy and ahead of me there are (current captain Paolo) Maldini and (Massimo) Ambrosini, but after that..."

And as for the offer from City, Kaka did not specifically reject it but moreover suggested that he was happy at Milan.

"I have already rejected some great offers," he said.

The Daily Mail and the Sun tabloids had earlier reported that a four-man delegation led by chief executive Garry Cook met top officials at Milan's headquarters Tuesday, where they offered to make the Brazilian player the highest paid in the world on 15 million pounds a year after tax.

Berlusconi, who is also Italy's prime minister, has previously resisted attempts to lure the 26-year-old Kaka away although on Tuesday he seemed non committal when he said: "I'm unaware of any offer but I hope he stays."

A month ago, the player expressed his dissatisfaction with his current role at Milan following the summer signing of compatriot Ronaldinho, forcing him to play deeper, and has said he would love to play in the Premier League.

"I'm trying to adapt tactically because I often find myself working closer to the midfield and that's not what I want to do," he moaned at the start of December.

"I like to play closer to the strikers, even if I understand the demands of the team.

"The fact of the matter is that everyone expects me to make a difference, with an assist or a goal, and if I don't manage to do so, I get criticised.

"It's just that I don't always manage to do what I want and sometimes that's sacrificing myself for the team."

The Times newspaper on its website reported that City officials had gone to Milan armed with a salary offer from Sheikh Mansour, their billionaire owner from Abu Dhabi.

City chief executive Cook, met Ariedo Braida, the Milan sporting director, and Adriano Galliani, the Italian club's executive vice-president, to discuss the offer, The Times said.

There was no official word from Manchester City, who have struggled for form all season and are currently just two points clear of the relegation zone casting doubts over the position of Hughes who took over at Eastlands from former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson last year.

Press reports have suggested that the visit of Newcastle on January 28 has been pencilled in as a potential debut day for the former world footballer of the year, deposed by Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday.

Despite City's activity in the player market, former Blackburn boss Hughes has been insisting he is not a big fan of the transfer window.

"I don't particularly like the transfer window because you have to wait to address things that could be sorted out a lot more quickly under the old system," Hughes told the Manchester Evening News.

"I am sure there were reasons behind bringing in a transfer window in the first place but I cannot fathom what they were.

"There have been weaknesses in our squad for quite some time and I have not had the opportunity to address them.

"Now we get to January and prices are inflated and the expectations are heightened. I don't think it is a healthy situation."

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Nafees 11 years ago

DO we want a "KAKA" for UAE for $150M or spend this money to resolve liquidity problem in the coutnry to some extent!