Unbeknown to Pele, he was being recorded and his alleged remarks were later widely reported by the Brazilian media.
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A statement on the British record signing's website read: 'A formal retraction will be requested, if what he said was not misinterpreted by the media that published it.
"If Pele does not come forward, he will have to deal with this very unfortunate comment in court. Robinho is upset and disappointed at Pele, who seems to have forgotten the great idol he was.
"He must be reading sensationalist media to come up with such a wrongful statement.'
The former Real Madrid player has endured a torrid introduction to life in the Premier League. After joining Mark Hughes's side for £32.5million in September, he has shown flashes of his undoubted ability but has been surrounded by rumours of dressing room discontent, fined by Hughes for allegedly leaving a training camp without permission and questioned by police over an alleged sexual assault. Robinho denies any wrongdoing
His recent displays have been patchy, including a missed penalty in the 1-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday, and while Hughes has always supported him publicly, the manager is thought to be frustrated in particular by his woeful away form.
Now, for the first time in his Eastlands career, his place could be under threat thanks to the return from injury of Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov.
The former Atletico Madrid player, one of the club's stars last season, has missed most of the campaign following a knee injury sustained on international duty. His return — possibly as early as City's trip to Arsenal next week — is likely to cost Robinho his favoured left-wing berth.
Hughes said: 'He's the sort of player you want, someone who will take people on and get crosses in. On occasions, we have lacked that ability.
"Robinho's favoured position is on the left cutting in. We could play him off the front and he has played up front before, but not for me. I don't think that's what he's suited to. I suppose you could play them both.
'But Robinho is an outstanding player and he is in my plans long-term. He is a player of great quality and he wants to be part of what we are doing.
"We have to find a way of getting the best out of Robby, especially away from home, because it is patently obvious we are not doing that.
'But there is no reason for anybody to think he is not playing well for any other reason than the opposition stopping him.'