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Man City peeved with Milan after Kaka deal falls through

KAKA'S move to Manchester City fell through because AC Milan "bottled it," City's executive chairman Garry Cook said yesterday.

Cook was part of a group of City officials who spent seven hours in the Italian city on Monday trying to secure the world record transfer of the Brazilian midfielder, only for the Italian club to announce that no deal would take place.

"We travelled to Milan, clearly with good intentions, and I think they bottled it," Cook told Sky Sports News.

"We entered into a confidentiality and good faith agreement several weeks ago. We knew there were some steps to go through and we wanted to go through those in a professional manner. We respected our partners and it turned out that it this wasn't how they wanted it to be.

"Clearly it was not about a project, it was clearly about money. We actually never met the player and the questions we asked simply weren't answered."

Milan owner and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the deal fell through because Kaka wanted to stay in Milan.

"Money is not everything for Kaka, there are things more important than money," he said. "We offered the player the chance to consider the offer ... but he has higher values."

Cook said that Milan had been willing to sell. "There was no offer made to the player. The offer was made to the club, whose original intent was to sell Kaka to Manchester City," he said. "The stage that followed that, their story changed. We went with the intent of having discussions that would lead us to that (signing him). We haven't taken this lightly, it's a huge undertaking, it was not to be. They changed their tune."

Despite the setback, which came on the day City completed the signing of Craig Bellamy from West Ham for a fee estimated to be around 14 million pounds (US$19.67 million), City will continue to look to spend the huge funds provided by new owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group.

"We've got clear plans, we are not going to stop," Cook said, also confirming that a fee had been agreed with Hamburg SV for Dutch international midfielder Nigel De Jong.

"The player (Kaka) was for sale, we entered into negotiations, the landscape changed, we'll move on."

But, Queens Park Rangers co-owner and Formula One team Renault boss Flavio Briatore said City's bid for Kaka showed that soccer also needed a salary cap.

"If you had put (Ferrari's retired seven-time world champion Michael) Schumacher in a Minardi, it would have gone nowhere," he said. "If you put Kaka in this club, it is going nowhere anyway. I think it is completely mad."

"You saw when (Brazilian striker) Robinho arrived (at City) it looked like they had solved every problem. And now it looks like the team is very close to going down."

It was also reported yesterday that Robinho had left City's training camp without permission. The 24-year-old Robinho has reportedly returned to Brazil.


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