Oriali was accompanied by Inter president Massimo Moratti on a trip to Brazil in order to wrap up the transfer of Kaka, but talks did not go as smoothly as hoped, and the move eventually collapsed.
"We were really close to signing him before our rivals Milan eventually got him," Oriali stated to Premium Calcio.
"I travelled to Brazil with the president to discuss a deal with Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, talks didn't go as we were hoping for.
"There was not a particular reason why the move fell through. It was simply that talks weren't re-opened after we initially failed to agree terms."
Kaka would develop into one of the best players in the world at Milan, and won the Ballon d'Or in 2007. He left the Rossoneri for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.