chasing kaka

Manchester City have opened talks with Italian side AC Milan over the transfer of their Brazilian playmaker Kaka.

Manchester City have opened talks with Italian side AC Milan over the transfer of their Brazilian playmaker Kaka.

A City delegation has been in Milan and reportedly made a bid in the region of ß100 million (R1,3 billion), with a weekly wage of £500000 (R7,5 million) for the player.

A report on the website of Mediaset, a TV company owned by Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, suggested City wanted the 26-year-old Kaka "at all costs".

The Eastlands club has so far refused to comment officially on the story.

A City spokesman told BBC Radio Manchester: "We have been linked with in excess of 70 names that could have been coming in this transfer window.

"We are not going to be drawn into any speculation on any names, no matter who they might be."

The current record for a player's signature is £46million (R460 million) when France's Zinedine Zidane moved from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001.

Kaka joined Serie A giants Milan from Sao Paulo in 2003 and has since won the league title, Champions League and Club World Cup.

The attacking midfielder also picked up the Ballon d'Or and Fifa World Player of the Year awards in 2007.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, estimated to be worth £15billion (R225billion), took over as City owner in September 2008 and extensive funds have been made available to manager Mark Hughes.

But he has only secured the services of Wayne Bridge in January's transfer window, with bids rejected for West Ham forward Craig Bellamy and Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz. City also signed Brazilian star Robinho from Real Madrid for £32,5 million earlier in the season.

The four-man delegation who travelled to Italy to initiate talks with the Milan officials is believed to have included executive chairman Garry Cook and two representatives of the Sheikh.

BBC Radio 5 Live's senior football reporter Ian Dennis says the reported move underlines Sheikh Mansour's desire to transform Manchester City, though he added "actually pulling off what would be an incredible coup is another matter entirely".

With the club struggling in 15th position in the Premier League, it would give City an incredible boost if they were to seal the deal for one of the world's best players. But it is thought the move for Kaka is being driven by the club's top officials rather than Hughes himself. - BBC