No Kaka

ONE of the more intriguing conspiracy theories I’ve heard surrounding the collapse of Kaka’s move to Manchester City is the suggestion that the proposed deal was leaked not by AC Milan, but by a third party with no connection to either club.

I have absolutely no evidence to support this theory. And for that reason, I’m not going to give any clues as to the possible identity of that third party. If I did, they would sue me for libel and win what little money I have. (All I will say is that it definitely wasn’t Barack Obama.)

On Friday, I really thought Kaka might be on his way to Manchester. The fact that exceutive chairman Garry Cook made a second trip to Italy for talks with AC Milan yesterday suggested he thought so too.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti dropped some pretty strong hints that he thought the player might be on his way. Kaka hugged his team-mates after Milan’s victory over Fiorentina on Saturday night in the manner of a man who thought he might be playing his final game for the club.

It’s a real shame the deal didn’t happen. Anyone who remembers Kaka’s wonderful displays in helping AC Milan win the Champions League in 2007 will know just what a great addition he would have been to the Premier League.

It would also have silenced those media critics, whose opposition to the move veered between the illogical, the hysterical and the downright disgraceful. There were notable exceptions, including the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel, who wrote an opinion piece which conveyed genuine excitement without descending into servility.

My Manchester Evening News colleague Chris Bailey also got to the heart of the subject by flagging up the moral hypocrisy of those who claimed that football was losing its soul as a result of City’s Kaka bid.

Former City player Gary Owen summed it up very well last week when he told me that, while £100million for any footballer is crazy, some people were talking as if there had never been a big-money transfer before.

No marks, though, to those who tried to claim that the £100million earmarked for Kaka would have been better spent on hospitals. The profits earned by those newspapers’ proprietors would also be better spent on hospitals, but I won’t be holding my breath for that article. It’s not the job of oil-rich Sheikhs to prop up the NHS, anyway.

And no marks, either, to the paper which published a bizarre, horribly contrived story attempting to juxtapose Kaka’s potential move with the plight of a former Manchester United trainee on trial at Lincoln City. I’ve read it three times, and I still can’t figure out exactly what point the reporter is trying to make, other than that City’s owners are a lot richer than the average Lincoln triallist. I already knew that, thanks.

With Robinho walking out of Manchester City’s training camp in Tenerife, for reasons currently unknown, it’s going to be another busy week for the club. And they don’t even have a game for another eight days.

Still, however down in the dumps City fans might be right now, they probably don’t feel as bad as the Arabian Business reporter who claimed on Friday that Kaka had signed for the Blues.



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