Kaka is in a spot of bother this summer.
A dream move to Serie A giants AC Milan collapsed once again, despite the reassurances of club president Silvio Berlusconi, leaving the Brazilian stranded at Real Madrid.
Now 31 years old, Kaka is unwanted goods at the San Bernabeu and seemingly damaged goods in the eyes of Europe's elite.
It's been a fall from grace for the talented playmaker from Sao Paulo, once considered the best footballer in the world, a Ballon d'Or winner in 2007 and a former owner of Brazil's prestigious No. 10 shirt.
But he is now considered surplus to requirements at the San Bernabeu and was left out of Luiz Felipe Scolari's plans for the upcoming 2013 Confederations Cup.
A lack of playing time in recent years since his much-heralded €65 million move from Milan in 2009 and falling out of favour under Jose Mourinho meant that Kaka was actively seeking a move away from the Spanish capital.
Milan then began negotiations with Real Madrid in January 2013 to take Kaka back to the San Siro, but a move collapsed due to a disagreement over the player's value.
Kaka was then left with another six months on the bench, his route into the first team blocked by the likes of Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The writing was on the wall for the Brazilian, and Milan reopened talks as soon as the season ended, raising Kaka's hopes once again.
A move to to the San Siro was on the cards, and a tearful reunion with the Rossoneri looked inevitable. It was an ideal move for all parties concerned.
But football is a cruel mistress, and no sooner than several weeks into the transfer window did Milan turn its back on its prodigal son.
Kaka's dream move collapsed once again as Milan's CEO, Adriano Galliani, publicly dismissed any move for the Brazilian on the grounds of the player's age:
Kaka is already 31 years old. He will not return to Milan.
That will have been a blow for the former Rossoneri star. Kaka now faces a tough decision of whether to stay at Real or take his chances at another club.
But despite the setbacks, there could yet be another chance for the Brazilian as Real Madrid looks set to complete a swoop for former Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The PSG coach is an old friend of Kaka's, the Italian coach placing him at the heart of his all-conquering Milan side in the mid-2000s featuring the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Paolo Maldini, Cafu and Clarence Seedorf.
Kaka will no doubt be tempted by the prospect of playing under Ancelotti once more, and the Italian will relish the challenge of reviving the Brazilian's fortunes.
The playmaker said as much when he spoke to ESPN regarding his options at Real Madrid (h/t Marca):
The best years of my career came under [Carlo Ancelotti]. My priority is to stay at Real Madrid for the next two years. I'd love the chance to play more often. That's my first choice—if it's not to be, then I'll start looking for alternatives.
I want to have at least one good season at Real Madrid: That's the challenge I've set myself. I don't know if you know what it's like to be frustrated in your job, but that's the sort of feeling I have here. I'm waiting until the end of the season to find out if I'm staying, on what terms and if I'm going to get more playing time.
With the former AC Milan star ruling out a return to his native Brazil, Kaka looks set to see out the remaining two years of his contract at the San Bernabeu.
If Kaka were to rediscover his form for Real Madrid under Ancelotti, then a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for the 2014 World Cup certainly wouldn't be out of the question.
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