Manchester City’s over-£108 million bid for AC Milan’s Kaka fell remarkably through this week, after the player failed to agree on a series of complex personal terms with the club.
Just last week, City stunned the footballing world with its spectacular bid for Kaka — who has previously pledged his allegiance to AC Milan and rejected several other big clubs’ offers, promising at least £500,000 per week for the player, dwarfing that of John Terry, Wayne Rooney and even the recently crowned FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.
The offer of over £108 million for Kaka to AC Milan was too much to reject. The previous world record was held by the £48 million pounds Real Madrid paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane. Milan are desperate to rebuild their rapidly aging squad around its very promising younger players such as Alexandre Pato. With over £100m, Milan could have bought 3 world class players into its squad, replacing older players such as Maldini who turns 40 this year.
Yet what scuppered the deal between City and Kaka?
For one, City does not need a playmaker in the form of Kaka. The only way to construct a strong building is from the ground up, and without a sturdy defensive foundation, City will not benefit much from Kakas or Robinhos. Mark Hughes, the City manager, has acknowledged this fact by signing Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, who will add much steel to the City midfield. The signing of Wayne Bridge, however, is hardly a strong addition to the City defense.
Despite inclusion of Robinho, City are precariously 4 points above the relegation zone and will probably be dragged into the relegation dogfight later this season. The club needs a commanding presence to anchor the entire team, and the defensive partnering of Micah Richards or Tal Ben Haim with Richard Dunne this season did not seem too convincing.
Dressing room rumors of potential transfers during this January window within the squad has clearly unsettled the team. With nobody’s future at the new Manchester City a definite certainty, the team spirit is clearly affected.
It is clear that the issue concerning Kaka’s snub of City is not that of a monetary reason. One of the conditions of Kaka’s potential contract with City was that Robinho had to stay in the City team if he were to arrive. This has highlighted the lack of confidence Kaka has regarding City, a belief not completely unfounded as Robinho was reported to have stormed out of the club’s training camp in Tenerife upon knowledge that Kaka’s deal was off.
With the global economic downturn sparing nobody, even Roman Abramovic’s seemingly limitless riches, now, has its limits. Considering that Chelsea has been underperforming in recent matches, Scholari could benefit from one or two decent signings in the January transfer window. However, Abramovic has since put a stop to paying excessive amount of transfer money for international stars to sit on the bench. City has an important lesson to learn from this. Success in Fantasy Football does little to promise anything in the real world.
The issue at hand now is not the quality of the City team, but rather the fact that nobody at City seems to be assured of their future at the club. A player that puts in a 110% during each training session and game gets almost too easily replaced by an international star bought at a ludicrous amount of money in the next transfer window. The team is clearly unsettled, and football is a team game.
City will have to rebuild itself, starting from the ground up, and learn to exercise patience under the heavy burden of expectations and setbacks, if they wish to add players like Kaka to their starting eleven.