maldini the legend

Maldini, who retired after 24 years in Rossoneri colours after helping Milan finish third last season, admits the transfer makes financial sense but worries how it will affect their Champions League hopes.

"This decision (to sell) was not taken well by his team-mates and supporters," he said.

"Looking at the accounts, it is a logical thing. But it is also logical to set realistic goals, and winning the Champions League without Kaka is unrealistic."

He added: "It is an historic change.

"Kaka is one of the top five players in the world with (Lionel) Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It is the first transfer of this level. The other four have not moved."

Kaka's compatriot Alexandre Pato has been linked with a move to Chelsea to be reunited with new Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, who brought him to Milan as a 17-year-old in 2007.

But Maldini does not think the teenager will be lured away.

"I do not think he will," he said. "We hope to be able to see him for many more years at Milan. He still has to fulfil his potential as he is only 19 years old."

Andrea Pirlo is also said to be considering his future, but Maldini has warned the Italy international not to make any rash decisions on the back of losing Ancelotti and Kaka in quick succession.

"I want Andrea to stay, but then I do not know what he is thinking," added Maldini. "He must think not 10 times before leaving but 100."

As for his own future, Maldini appears keen to remain involved with Milan but has not been offered a role yet.

"My future? Looking after family life," he said. "I have had proposals of various kinds. From Milan still nothing, but there will be time to talk about this."