Brazilian midfielder Kaka has completed a return to AC Milan on a two-year contract after the Serie A side agreed a deal with Real Madrid, the Italian club confirmed Monday.
"Done deal", Milan CEO Adriano Galliani announced on the club's website, adding that discussions ran until "around 0235-0240 CET" Monday morning before the move was completed.
According to the Italian press, Real allowed the 31-year-old to return to his former club on a free transfer, having paid 65 million euros to bring Kaka to Madrid in 2009.
"I'm going home!", the player told journalists at a Madrid airport before boarding a flight to Milan, where he landed shortly after Monday lunchtime.
The Brazilian was said to have taken a significant pay cut to facilitate his move to the San Siro, accepting an annual salary of four million euros plus bonuses, a considerable reduction from the 10 million euros a year he received in Madrid.
"I'm very happy, the talks took a long time. Money was never one of my priorities," Kaka told Milan Channel, the Italian club's TV station, upon his arrival at the Milan-Linate airport.
The Brazilian had fallen out of favour in Madrid while former boss Jose Mourinho was in charge and had yet to feature for the Spanish side this season following the arrival of new coach Carlo Ancelotti.
"When I understood that there was no longer space for me (at Real), I had to leave," said Kaka.
"I really want to play. It's a special year because there is the World Cup. First of all I have to do well for Milan, but I think the club can help me play in the World Cup," added the Brazilian, who has scored 29 goals in 87 appearances for his country.
Kaka's first spell at the Rossoneri, from 2003 to 2009, coincided with his rise to prominence that culminated in him winning the 2007 Ballon d'Or after leading Milan to the Champions League title that year.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri on Friday had praised the Brazilian's attributes and said he had "faith" a deal could be struck for Kaka.
"Kaka would strengthen us. He's versatile and his technical attributes would be a big plus to the team," said Allegri.
Milan's push to bolster their squad before Monday's transfer deadline comes days after they qualified for the group stages of the Champions League.