Manchester City have ended their pursuit of AC Milan playmaker Kaka, who is to stay at the San Siro.
Conflicting reports emerge with regard to Brazilian's proposed move
Italian Prime Minister and Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has claimed Kaka has rejected Manchester City, while the Premier League club have counter-claimed that it is they that ceased discussions.
Berlusconi met with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani earlier on Monday to discuss City's world-record fee for the Brazilian, before being interviewed on Italian television.
City offered over £100million for the 26-year-old, who has in the past indicated a desire to stay in Italy. Now Berlusconi has stated his intention to keep the player at the San Siro.
Berlusconi said: "Kaka is staying with Milan. For Kaka, money isn't everything.
"Both I and he have intervened.
"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."
A Milan spokesman confirmed: "Kaka is staying at AC Milan. Official."
"Heart has prevailed on the matter," Galliani added on the Milan Channel
"The fans should thank president Berlusconi again for his economic input. ... It was a strong temptation, with such astronomical and world record figures."
However, Sky Sports News
understands that City never engaged in discussions with the player and that Berlusconi is wrong to suggest Kaka rejected an Eastlands switch.
Executive chairman Garry Cook told Manchester City's website that the club ended talks with Milan when they decided the deal was not viable on a number of levels.
"Whilst Manchester City Football Club has an obvious interest in world-class players of the quality of Kaka, we owe it to our fans that such a transfer must work on every level; commercially, financially, in terms of results on the field and within Manchester City's broader community."
The dramatic development came at the end of a day when it seemed Kaka was moving tantalisingly close to joining the Eastlands outfit.
Cook, along with other members of the City delegation, had meetings with Milan officials and Kaka's father, Bosco Leite.
But it soon became apparent that the complexity of the transfer was not going to work in City's favour and the player, who never spoke face-to-face with the Blues, was not keen on leaving Milan anyway.
Kaka had pointed to his heart when appearing at the window of his house to wave at protesters who had gathered outside to make their feelings known.