Robinho's new low: City's £32.5m flop reeling as Santos snub dream return

21 January 2010 12:33
Good old days: Robinho with Santos in 2004

Robinho has opened the door for a shock return to first club Santos - only for the Brazilians to rule out a move.

Out of favour at Manchester City, no longer on Barcelona's radar and now discarded as an impossible dream by Santos, the 25-year-old has suffered a spectacular fall from grace since his £32.5million British record move from Real Madrid to Eastlands 16 months ago.

Robinho excited fans who idolised him as a teenager when he called for the Sao Paulo club to get in touch with City and his father-cum-agent Gilvan de Souza if they were keen to do a deal. 

He broke his silence after a friend claimed the Brazil forward wasfed up of sitting on the bench at Eastlands - particularly aftersuffering the ignominy of being a substituted substitute during thedefeat by Everton on Saturday.

Luciano Batista, who wasonce supported by Robinho and Pele in a failed bid to be elected Santospresident, did his profile no harm on Wednesday by claiming he couldbring back a player who left for the riches of Europe five years ago.

Talking of a telephone conversation with the player, Batista said: 'Robinho said that it is a complicated situation and that he wants to play.

'He believes that if he were competing in the Sao Paulo Championship, he would certainly be playing.

'Robinho dreams of returning to Santos. If the club president allows, I will call him to talk on behalf of the club. From there, we will try to make it happen.'

On and off: Robinho was hooked after going on as a sub at Everton

Robinho moved quickly to deny he had spoken to Batista, but didn't dismiss a return to a club he still feels a deep connection to.

'Luciano does not represent me,' he said. 'My father takes care of my business. That call did not exist.

'If Santos want to sign me, they would have to talk to my father and Manchester City, who are the club with which I have a contract. I have great affection for Santos.'

The potential for a loan deal till the end of the season took Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro by surprise.

  'I haven't spoken to Robinho, but he is an idol,' said Luis Alvaro. 'If Corinthians brought Ronaldo, why can't Santos try for Robinho?'

However, after reflecting on how the indebted club would finance a move for a player on £160,000 a week, Luis Alvaro later admitted: 'We have a dream, but the distance between dream and reality is huge.

'Santos have made no attempt to sign Robinho because the club is going through a time of settling our finances.

'Even if there was interest, we would first get in touch with Manchester City.

'We are unable to sign him. I want to calm down those who are dreaming about that possibility.' 

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Source: Daily_Mail