On September 1st last year, Manchester City rocked world football by signing Robinho for £32.5million.
The takeover of the club by the Abu Dhabi United Group allowed for wild rumours that they would poach Fernando Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the actual transfer of the diminutive Brazilian on the last day of the summer transfer window was pretty sensational.
The months following saw City linked with all manner of greats on the pitch, their current side spectacularly failed to live up to the billing of the world’s richest club. A year on and January 13, 2009, could be the day when the perceived second club of Manchester stepped out of the shadows and on to the world platform.
It has been reported that they have begun talks with AC Milan in an audacious bid to sign Kaka.
Robinho was desperate to leave Real Madrid so his signing made sense even if one assumes he was tempted as much by the money as the Eastlands. But Kaka’s is a little difficult to fathom. Here is a 26-year-old in the peak of his playing career who allegedly has already turned down the advances, and big bucks, of Chelsea.
He is said to earn something in the region of £150,000 a week, but that is obviously no problem for City’s new owners. Whether talks materialise into something more concrete remains to be seen although Kaka has said in the past that he would like to experience the Premier League at some stage of his career and he could be lured by City's Brazilian contingent.
One wonders whether the club’s loyal fans had been slightly disappointed with the early transfer activity this month. They were promised glittering names, but had been given Wayne Bridge and possibly Craig Bellamy. Both will definitely strengthen a fragile side, Bridge especially is a fantastic signing. But it was not quite what they were eagerly waiting for in the month of January.
I admit that I could be forced to eat humble pie on this one. Just an hour before the news broke that City executive director Garry Cook had flown to Milan, I was telling my West Ham pal that City would have to build their side slowly and consistently win football matches before attracting the big guns.
There is no way Kaka would go there yet, I insisted. Why would a former winner of the Ballon d'Or and Fifa World Player of the Year swap a possible Champions League and Serie A title medal for mid-table obscurity, at best, or a relegation dogfight at worst?
Answers on a postcard please.