London-based football club Chelsea, who have been linked with Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid's attacking midfielder Kaka over the past few months, have been told they will have to shell out £22 million if they wish to acquire his services.
Kaka, 29, has struggled thus far to make a real impact at the Bernabeu, following his high-profile transfer to Spain in the summer of 2009. Initially, a mixture of injuries and poor form consigned him to the substitute's bench. The signing of German international Mesut Ozil further complicated matters for the Brazilian.
Although the former AC Milan man has repeatedly declared he wishes to stay with Real and fight for a regular place in Jose Mourinho's side, the fact that the club are ready to sell (after Mourinho himself admitted Kaka might be surplus to requirements) means the player is probably no longer part of first team plans.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are looking to finance their move for Kaka by selling French winger Florent Malouda, 31, (who has apparently drawn interest from Russian cash-rich club Anzhi, according to a Daily Star report), for approximately £6 million, along with defender Alex and forward Salomon Kalou. Spanish striker Fernando Torres, the subject of a mega-money move from rivals Liverpool may follow them out of the club after a number of disappointing performances.
Another Chelsea striker, Nicolas Anelka, has already confirmed his exit from the club. The Frenchman has agreed a deal to move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, in January, after finding he spent more time on the bench than the field.
Despite the fact that £22 million may be a little too much to spend on a recently oft-injured and arguably out-of-form Kaka (and given the debacle that was Torres' signing), the English club could argue the gamble, for a former World Footballer of the Year, is one worth taking. Equally importantly, the player himself may be motivated to make the move; owing to the fact he continues to play second fiddle to Ozil.