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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 20, 2014

Orlando City confirm talks with Kaka

Kaka will return to play in his homeland for the rest of the year

New Major League Soccer franchise Orlando City have confirmed that they are in "advanced discussions" to sign AC Milan midfielder Kaka.

ESPN sources have revealed that Kaka -- winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2007 -- will be loaned out to Brazilian club Sao Paulo for the rest of the year, with Orlando paying 50 percent of his wages during this time. He will then be officially registered as an Orlando player in January before the MLS campaign begins.

Sao Paulo president told ESPN.com.br on Thursday that "the deal is very close."

A brief statement on the Orlando City website read: "Orlando City Soccer Club is in advanced discussions with Kaka. Pending completion of the potential player agreement, Kaka would join Orlando City SC in January 2015 prior to the club's first season in Major League Soccer. The club will have no additional comment until further notice."

Earlier this month, Sao Paulo coach Muricy Ramalho told ESPN: "He's a fantastic player, but it's very difficult because the financial aspect counts a lot. Clubs here are in [financial] difficulty and that's weighing us down, but we have seen many times in football that impossible things do actually happen, so maybe that will also happen with Kaka."

Kaka returned to Milan last year after a spell with Real Madrid, but with the Rossoneri failing to qualify for the 2014-15 Champions League, he has the option to terminate his contract and walk away from the Serie A club.

He has 87 caps for Brazil but missed out on a place on the 2014 World Cup squad.

Kaka will become the third Ballon d'Or winner to play in MLS, after Lothar Matthaus (New York MetroStars) and Hristo Stoichkov (Chicago Fire, DC United).

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