Robinho set to complete Santos loan as Brazilians arrive to seal City deal

28 January 2010 12:26
Santos expect to agree the loan signing of Robinho when they meet Manchester City officials on Wednesday for the first time.

Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues Filho and club lawyer Joao Vicente Gazolla will hold face-to-face talks with City before the Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Manchester United.

The Brazilians described the deal as '98 per cent done' on Tuesday night and believe that merely signing the contract is all that is left to be done after conducting most of the negotiations by e-mail.

High: Robinho was on target in the weekend FA Cup win at Scunthorpe

However, City are understood to be unhappy at how Robinho's former club have conducted such a public pursuit and are maintaining contact with rival South American club Sao Paulo.

Amid the acrimony, Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has banned anyone else from his club making further comment on negotiations until they were concluded.

  But, after the player's adviser put the deal at '95 per cent agreed' on Monday, Luis Alvaro said: 'The negotiations have advanced three percentage points and I hope they will advance a further one per cent in the next 24 hours.

'The conversation between Manchester City and Robinho was good and now Robinho is even closer to us. I think we will have an agreement by Thursday.'

The Santos chief, who has only been in power for just over a month, dismissed Sao Paulo's interest.

'Robinho is an outstanding player,' he said. 'It is natural for Sao Paulo, Gremio, Juventus, (Brazilian minnows) XV de Piracicaba or Inter to want an outstanding player like him.

'But we have talked to City, and talked to the player, who expressed his desire to return to the Vila (Belmiro stadium), his home. I am absolutely calm about it.'

Low: Robinho was hooked after going on as a sub at Everton

Robinho bolstered that view by telling ESPN Brazil: 'Sao Paulo are a great club. But if I had to go back to Brazil again, it would be to Santos, which is my home.'

Nonetheless, Sao Paulo remain in talks and say they were approached by City as the club's preferred destination for the 26-year-old.

Sao Paulo director Carlos Augusto de Barros e Silva said: 'We were approached from over in England saying (City) manager Roberto Mancini would like Robinho to play for Sao Paulo because the club have greater international reach and will play in the Copa Libertadores.

'That, according to him, would promote a greater revaluation of the player which is exactly what they want.

'From there, Sao Paulo became interested. We have had a representative in Manchester since Saturday looking after this issue.

'I've only got the exchange of emails with the businessmen. In money terms, I think the best thing for him (Robinho) is Santos.'

Happy days: Robinho in a Santos shirt in 2004

Santos have agreed to pay Robinho just under £80,000 a week, roughly his after-tax UK salary, but don't actually have the sponsors in place to fund it.

They will seek a bumper shirt deal with advertisers off the back of his signing and hope for other commercial tie-ups that will offer the star's image for promotional purposes through to the end of the World Cup.

Sao Paulo can offer Robinho more competitive football as qualifiers for the Copa Libertadores - South America's equivalent of the Champions League - and they already have a good relationship with the player and City.

Eastlands technical director Mike Rigg visited the club's impressive training base last year as part of a trip to Brazil with Luis Vicente, a Portuguese lawyer who is City's 'head of partnerships'.

Robinho also turned to Sao Paulo in March, preferring to make a 10,000-mile round trip for treatment on his ankle from the club's physio Luiz Rosan rather than utilising City's backroom staff.

Nonetheless, the one-time Real Madrid player looks set to re-join Santos until the end of the season, when the side will push for a longer stay if everything goes to plan. 

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Source: Daily_Mail

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