Is Kaka contemplating a move to MLS?
Rumors swirl around Kaká before and during every transfer window. The former Ballon d’Or winner remains a man in demand, even at this advanced stage of his career.
Kaká returned to AC Milan for a second spell with the Rossoneri prior to the start of the campaign. The former Brazil schemer marked his 300th appearance for Milan with a double during the 3-0 victory with Chievo Verona on Saturday, but he faces an uncertain future with the club given the considerable wage packet he draws and the presence of Keisuke Honda in Clarence Seedorf’s squad.
The prospect of exiting Milan for a second time in the summer lends credence to the pervasive rumors on both sides of the pond about a potential future in MLS. Kaká essentially confirmed the chatter during an interview on Friday about the next step in his career.
“In the future, I’d like to play in America,” Kaká told Corriere della Sera, as translated by Football Italia. “At the end of the season, I’ll talk to [Milan president] Adriano Galliani to understand his ideas and those of the club. If I was to leave, then I would like a transfer to the United States.”
The gap between a desire to move to MLS and the eventual transfer itself catches more than a few players willing to explore the American escape route. MLS – with the odd exception of course – does not always meet the expected compensation levels for players departing from top European clubs.
If Kaká adjusts his salary demands appropriately (and he has indicated he would), then he could find a fairly robust market for his services even with LA Galaxy fully stocked with Designated Players. New York continues to scour the market for a playmaker. New York City FC enters the league next season with plenty of cash to spend. And Orlando City presents an intriguing option given his connections to investor/operator Flávio Augusto da Silva and the willingness of the club to explore high-profile Brazilian options ahead of the 2015 season.
Any of those three teams – plus a surprise package or two, of course – could cobble together a package suitable to entice Kaká to leave. Orlando looms as the frontrunner given its overt desire to tempt Kaká to central Florida (both da Silva and Orlando City president Phil Rawlins have discussed the idea publicly in the past) and the pervasive links between the involved parties, but there are other alternatives available if Kaka wishes to explore them.
At this point in his career, the 31-year-old playmaker faces a choice. He can cling to top-flight football with a Milan side in desperate need of repairs in the summer or he can jump to MLS to ensure he plays a starring role during the waning stages of his career. If he decides to make the leap, then his creativity and his pedigree suggests he will find a home here if he amends his expectations accordingly.