Milan's Best XI with Kaka in the Squad

Tim Fontenault@Tim_FontenaultCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2012

Milan's Best XI with Kaka in the Squad

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    It seems very likely that by the end of the transfer window, Kaka will once again be a member of AC Milan.

    ESPN is one of several outlets reporting negotiations between Milan and Real Madrid for the former Milan hero.

    The 30-year-old Brazilian left Milan after seven years in the midst of something that Milan of recent years are no strangers to, a financial crisis. Kaka was very much the 2009 form of Thiago Silva. A player who was one of the best at his position, wanted all over the world and the club desperately needed the money.

    Thiago Silva was sold to Paris Saint-Germain along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic earlier this month, despite his desire to stay at the club. With the financial regulations set by UEFA and Milan's debt, the club needed the money.

    The sale angered many fans. Season ticket sales are at a Berlusconi-era low, and the club promised refunds to all desiring fans. Milan want to bring in Kaka to help ease the pain for the fans.

    If an agreement on wages can be reached, then Kaka should be a Milan player this season. This means there will be some shuffling in the lineup. With the return of a legend, here's a look at what Milan's best possible XI might look like.

Goalkeeper: Christian Abbiati

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    He doesn't have much longer before it's time to put the gloves away, but for now Abbiati is the best choice Milan have.

    It would have been nice if Milan were able to snag Samir Handanovic, but Inter Milan got there first. Other options do remain. One day soon, Milan may be able to acquire Rafael Cabral from Santos, but that day won't come this summer.

    The 35-year-old vice-captain needs to improve on last season. He's shown he can do it before.

Left Back: Urby Emanuelson

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    Milan have few options at left back. Luca Antonini is a shadow of what he was during the 2009-10 season. Djamel Mesbah failed to impress after his move from Lecce.

    Urby Emanuelson can play anywhere down the left side of the field, and he does so effectively. Playing mostly out of the midfield this summer, the Dutchman has been one of the bright spot in Milan's three friendlies, scoring the lone goal in a win against Schalke on Tuesday.

    He's fast, he loves creating chances down the left flank, and he's in excellent form.

    Emanuelson is the best option Max Allegri has on the left side.

Center Back: Philippe Mexes

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    Mexes wasn't a standout at Euro 2012 or in his first season at Milan. If he can get back to his Roma self, Mexes could be important to Milan.

    Watching Francesco Acerbi during the Inter Milan match at the Trofeo TIM was awful. He was slow, out of position, just overall awful.

    Mexes is more experienced and has the tools to help the club move on without Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta.

    Look for the Frenchman out there. It's not a matter of can he find his form—it's a matter of he NEEDS to find his form.

Center Back: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

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    The move for Frenchman Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is so close Milan can smell it.

    No, Olivier Giroud was not the only reason La Paillade won the title in France this past season. The 23-year-old Montpellier captain was vital to the club's success with his leadership in the back.

    Leadership. That's something that Milan lose in the back with the departures of both Nesta and Silva. A new player needs to have that quality in the back for the club.

    According to Yahoo!, Milan have already agreed to personal terms with Yanga-Mbiwa to make the process easier and they have contacted Montpellier. They are looking to bring him in for €7 million. His personal agreement is for five years at about €1.5 million per year.

    If he is in Milan's lineup at the start of the season, Milan fans can feel a little more at ease. This is a player who could one day become what we all thought Silva would be, the brick wall captain holding down the fort for Milan.

Right Back: Ignazio Abate

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    Abate is arguably the best right back in Serie A.

    He's been a star in the back for Milan for the past two seasons, and there's no signs of him going anywhere in the near or distant future.

    Name one person who doesn't want Abate playing every game (Mattia De Sciglio and his family don't count for that challenge).

Midfielder: Antonio Nocerino

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    Nocerino had a breakout season for Milan, after moving from Palermo for €500,000 on the last day of the transfer window in the summer last year.

    If Kaka's price tag of €8.5 million was considered "peanuts" when Silvio Berlusconi reflected upon it later, Nocerino's was the equivalent of a single peanut the way he played this past season.

    He scored 10 goals in Serie A, and he added a goal against Barcelona in the Champions League Quarterfinals that kept Milan in with a chance. Eleven goals in 48 games. To put that in perspective, he had SIX in 122 for Palermo from 2008-2011.

    Nocerino was asked to take over the number 8 by Gennaro Gattuso when Gattuso announced he was leaving the team. He's got the quality to do the shirt justice.

Midfielder: Riccardo Montolivo

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    A lot of people are saying that Massimo Ambrosini will start as the holding midfielder. Knowing Allegri, that may be the case, but Milan have wanted Montolivo for far too long to bring him in and make him a sub.

    Montolivo was quietly one of the top players for Italy at Euro 2012, guiding the Azzurri into the Final.

    He didn't have the best of seasons at Fiorentina, but after his move to Milan fell through last year and he lost his captaincy because of his refusal to renew his contract, that is understandable.

    Montolivo will come in and have a positive impact right from the start from the Rossoneri.

Midfielder: Kevin-Prince Boateng

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    I like Boateng as the trequartista, but just having him on the pitch provides Milan a boost no matter where he's playing.

    The plan all summer has been to move him into central midfield and while he has done well as trequartista, especially this preseason, he can still shine from a farther back position.

    Boateng reminds me of Milan's last No. 10, Clarence Seedorf. Seedorf could shine from the center midfield or trequartista positions. Boateng can do the same.

Trequartista: Kaka

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    He starred out of the playmaking position for Milan for seven years.

    When someone says the number 22, Milan fans instantly think of the man who dazzled them so many times, the man who helped bring them the European Cup in 2007 with his 10 goals and incredible threaded pass to Pippo Inzaghi in the Final.

    The 2007 World Player of the Year could be on his way back and if he is, Milan fans may still not be 100 percent satisfied with the summer that has been for the club, but there wasn't one person happy to see Kaka go, not even Kaka.

    He didn't want to go but the club needed to sell him and now they can bring him back. It's possible that a return could bring about a Kaka who finds his form again. If he does, watch out Italy.

    Watch out Europe.

Forward: Robinho

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    Yes, Robinho had a tough 2011-12 season, but right now, Milan need the 28-year-old to return to form.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic is gone and at the moment there is no replacement in sight. With Stephan El Shaarawy likely only a reserve for the time being and a disgruntled Antonio Cassano quickly losing favor, Robinho is the next option in line to join up with Pato.

    An all-Brazilian front three could be extremely scary, especially if Kaka and Robinho find their form and Pato can stay healthy.

    Robinho was threatening at times at Trofeo TIM. Hopefully he can turn threats into goals at a rate similar to his 14 goals in 2010-11.

Forward: Alexandre Pato

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    One match down at the Olympics and no injury for Pato? Things are looking up for the 22-year-old who has now inherited the No. 9 at Milan.

    Pato's injury woes have plagued him throughout his first four years, but that hasn't stopped him from being a goal machine when he's on the pitch. He has 61 goals in 142 matches for the club.

    Just his goal against Barcelona alone is all I need to be convinced of Pato's abilities, but every goal is as memorable as the one before it.

    Pato is now charged with leading Milan's attack for years to come. It's the moment that has been coming since 2007.

    Is he ready for it?