Events over the last day may signal the end of Kaka’s time as a Real Madrid player after he was advised by manager Jose Mourinho that his performances will no longer merit a place in the first team.
The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner’s precarious situation at the Spanish club was further exacerbated when he was removed from the list of players called up to travel to Oviedo for Real Madrid’s first official friendly of the 2012-2013 pre-season.
His name had been initially included in the list supplied via Madrid’s official website, but subsequently removed without further explanation despite it being clear the player is fit to play if required.
This came less than 24 hours after he was called to a meeting with Mourinho at the Bernabeu, in which he is rumored to have been told in no uncertain terms that the club no longer consider him worthy of a place in the starting line-up and would be listening to offers from other clubs for his services that they hope he will facilitate.
The reigning Spanish La Liga champions paid €65m (£50.6m) to AC Milan for Kaka in 2009 and have since had to fork out a further €10m (£7.8m) per season (after tax deductions) in wages, as he is on the same exorbitant salary bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.
In his three seasons in Spain Kaka has played in 66 of a possible 114 games, just under 60 per cent of the available total, failing to cement a place in the starting 11 despite numerous opportunities in low- and high-profile games. His goal tally in that time, 20, which works out at just under one goal in every three games, has also been unremarkable.
It now seems clear that Madrid will be hoping to make some of that cash back, and save on his salary payment, by selling him this summer. Reports in Spain suggest that they are aiming to get about €25m (£19.5m) for the 30-year-old.
The player’s preference is said to be a return to AC Milan, a solution which is to the liking of owner Silvio Berlusconi, but only if the price and salary agreement are right, which is no foregone conclusion. While Real Madrid would prefer to take advantage of some of the offers they have had for him from Brazil and the USA.