Kaka was named in AC Milan’s starting XI for the visit of Fiorentina on Saturday as San Siro fans pleaded with their Brazilian superstar to resist the multi-million euro attentions of Manchester City.
Kaka has been at the centre of an exhausting transfer saga with Milan president Silvio Berlusconi admitting earlier in the day that it would be difficult to turn down a 100-million euro offer from the English Premier League side.
The former World Player of the Year will line up alongside ex-England captain David Beckham, who will be making his home debut for Milan in this crucial Serie A clash.
Milan are third in the table, nine points behind bitter city rivals, and leaders, Inter Milan.
There was no place, however, for Ronaldinho in the starting line-up as coach Carlo Ancelotti went for a more solid core to the team with Massimo Ambrosini coming into a four-man midfield and the former Barcelona man dropping to the bench.
Fans displayed their support for Kaka by unfurling banners pleading with him to stay, including one that said: “Drunk on desire for Kaka”, and another saying: “The heart has no price, stay with those who love you Ricky (Kaka’s nickname).”
There was a banner mocking a credit card company advert claiming that while Samuel Eto’o (80 million euros), Cristian Ronaldo (120 million) and Lionel Messi (180 million) all had price-tags, Kaka is “priceless.”
One proclaimed simply: “shame, shame!” while yet another told Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani to go to City instead.
“Kaka is a Milan player, nothing has been signed, neither by the club nor by the player,” said Galliani in a pre-match interview.
“Of course we’ve looked at it, we’ve had a think but nothing has happened. We’ll see, there’s still time, we shouldn’t over-react.
“When a decision has been made the player and the club will be in agreement. Kaka hasn’t been sold, we’ll see what happens.
“The transfer market has always existed. I’m not confirming the 120 million euros nor any other figure,” he added about the value of the reported City bid before adding about an eventual decision: “We should use good sense rather than the heart.”
Before the game, Sky Sport showed a statistic that in Serie A this season Milan have won 10, drawn four and lost once with Kaka in the side while without him they have lost three out of three games.
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