Manchester City have ended discussions with AC Milan over the proposed transfer of former world footballer of the year Kaka.
City confirmed in a statement last night they had pulled out of negotiations as there was little chance of a deal being done.
Executive chairman Garry Cook said: "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, yesterday.
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 lest night.
The move was slightly ambiguous but, just minutes before City's statement, Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi delivered the news all Rossoneri supporters wanted to hear.
"Kaka is staying at Milan," he said.
"He has turned down the money and he won't ask for an increase. He prefers to stay at Milan."
Berlusconi continued: "Money is not everything to Kaka. He is staying with us, there are things which are more important than money: we are happy.
"We offered the player the chance to consider the offer and make himself a fortune, but he has higher values.
"It was down to me and also to him.
"When I heard he would prefer to stay, that he didn't think he would be missing a great opportunity and he prefers the values of our flag, the values of closeness and friendship, the warmth and the affection that all the fans have shown him in these days, I said 'hooray' and we hugged. Kaka is staying at Milan."
While they are having to bite the bullet as Berlusconi claims victory and the moral high ground, City officials have pointed out that Milan accepted their offer which has now been estimated at £90million — but feel Berlusconi found the whole situation became too controversial and therefore pulled out.