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Kaka future unclear as Real deal rumors swirl

AC Milan star Kaka's future remained unresolved yesterday amid reports that he could be on his way to Real Madrid in a 65-million euro (US$92 million) deal.

Milan Vice President Adriano Galliani was in Madrid on Tuesday night to finalize the deal, along with Kaka's father-manager Bosco Leite, Italian sports dailies La Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport reported yesterday.

After four hours of meetings with new Real President Florentino Perez, a deal was reached under which Kaka would get 9.5 million euros (US$13.5 million) a season for five years, Gazzetta said.

However, there has been no official confirmation from the clubs.

Milan said on its Website that Galliani was in Madrid because he had been previously invited to attend a dinner honoring Perez. Real said it had nothing to say.

There were also reports in the British media that Chelsea was trying to "hijack" Kaka's move with a late offer for the 2007 world player of the year. Kaka's coach at Milan, Carlo Ancelotti, was appointed as Chelsea's new manager on Monday.

Kaka flew home on Monday to Brazil to join the national team for World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.

Before leaving, however, he insisted he was happy in Milan. "I want to stay with Milan and from today this issue is over. I will say it for the last time, the last time. I don't want to leave Milan."

But Milan owner Premier Silvio Berlusconi conceded he didn't think he could keep the Brazilian midfielder.

"I don't think we can keep him back because they're offering so much money," he said on Tuesday.

Kaka was also the subject of a failed bid by Manchester City in January that would have made him the best-paid player in football, but he turned it down.

New Real coach Manuel Pellegrini said this week he planned to bring in new players to revitalize the club which finished second behind Barcelona.

Meanwhile, England midfielder Gareth Barry said a fear of losing his appetite for the game prompted his 12-million pound (US$20 million) move from Aston Villa to City.

"I want the chance to explain my decision. I have a massive fear of going stale and falling into a comfort zone," he wrote in an open letter to Villa fans published in the Birmingham Mail yesterday.

"After changing my mind lots of times I came to the decision that the time was right for me and the club to part."

Barry, 28, who joined Villa as a 16-year-old trainee and played more than 400 matches for the club, signed a five-year deal with City on Tuesday.

His signing could be the first of many at City in the close season as manager Mark Hughes looks to use the buying power of the club's billionaire Arab owners to build a squad that can improve on this year's 10th-place finish.


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