NEW YORK — Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to Real Madrid in the World Football Challenge quickly took a back seat — as far as AC Milan are concerned — as the transfer saga unfolding at the club took an interesting twist at Yankee Stadium.
American Giuseppe Rossi, who is on the books at Spanish second-division side Villarreal, was spotted outside Milan’s locker speaking at length with several of the club’s players and manager Massimiliano Allegri.
The scene immediately prompted an eruption of speculation surrounding a potential loan deal with 20 days remaining until the close of the European transfer window. AC Milan closed a similar transaction on Wednesday for Villarreal's Colombian defender, Cristian Zapata.
Meanwhile, the possibility of landing playmaker Kaká (above) from Real Madrid took a positive twist on Wednesday after the manager of the Spanish champions, José Mourinho, declared that he’s open to transferring the Brazilian back to his former club.
“I’m happy to keep him and I’m happy to sell him if he wants to go because a player must be happy — that’s the most important thing,” Mourinho said in his postgame press conference.
Kaká entered the match in the second half for Real Madrid and promptly registered three assists against his former club, inflating a heavy score line to the 5-1 final.
Like Rossi, Kaká was also seen fraternizing with members of AC Milan, where he became a world star between 2003 and 2009.
“My arms are open if he wants to stay,” continued Mourinho. “But if he decides that the best thing for him that is to go, Real Madrid will try to help. But nobody gets a diamond for free. You want a diamond, you pay for it.”
Allegri was less outspoken about the possibilities of landing Kaká, but he certainly didn’t close the door with his statement.
“Kaká played a good game,” he said in his postgame presser when asked about Kaká. “The transfer window is open until the 31st of August, and so we’ll see what happens.”
Allegri admitted that “there’s a big gap” between AC Milan and Real Madrid and that his squad had players with “little experience on the international level.”
Facing the evident disparity, his players are hopeful that reinforcements are on their way.
Dutch winger Urby Emanuelson was upbeat about what the likes of Rossi and Kaká would do for the Italian giants.
“They are two great players and I think they will make the team a lot stronger,” Emanuelson said when asked about the possibility of Rossi and Kaká signing on. “But we will see what will happen and which kind of players will come.”