Milan, Jan 20: Ending all the speculation AC Milan President and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a TV programme that Kaka will be staying at Milan. The former World Player of the Year, 26-year old Kaka had been the subject of a reported 100 million euro bid from mega-rich Manchester City in a transfer saga that had been picking up pace over the last week.
Last week Berlusconi had said that with so much money on offer, he cannot force Kaka to stay if he wanted to leave. But mow he changed his mind and claimed that he had intervened personally to ensure the fans' favourite will be staying in Italy. "Both I and he (Kaka) have intervened," said Berlusconi.
"When I heard him say that he prefers to stay, that he doesn't feel like he has lost the opportunity to earn a higher salary and that he feels privileged to wear the shirt, he values the closeness and the friendships, the heat and affection that all the fans have shown him even in these last two days, I said 'hallelujah' and we hugged," he told '7 Gold'.
"Kaka is staying at Milan." However, Berlusconi then opened up a little doubt.
"I give my word on the things that depend on me. At the end of this affair I don't know if I will still be president of Milan, as much as I am not any more," he said cryptically before seeming to settle the matter once again.
"He has taken himself off the market with this decision to stay loyal to the contract he has with Milan.
"A contract signed on a piece of paper with a stamp but now we can say with certitude that it was signed with the heart."
He added in an interview with Sky Sport 24, "That's the end of the story. I am truly delighted to have kept Kaka at Milan.
"Kaka is a great champion and a great man. He's refused the offer from Manchester City giving privilege to Milan, his companions and his fans.
"He said it's because money isn't everything in life.
"Kaka is staying with us and we're delighted. Money is important but there are also other things that are important.
"The fans are delighted too. Turning down so much money is something to admire."
Milan fans had held a vigil outside Kaka's house begging him to stay at their club. They only left after the star assured to stay on. Manchester City owners the Abu Dhabi group had made the former World Player of the Year their primary transfer target during the Jan window and reportedly tempted Milan with what would have been a world record fee for a player.
Milan initially claimed that they had not accepted City's bid but would not stand in Kaka's way if he chose to leave.
Ansa, the Italian news agency reported that Kaka's father and agent Bosco Leite had arrived in Milan from Brazil and had discussion with Berlusconi and the club Vice-President Adriano Galliani regarding Kaka's transfer.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)