Robinho goes awol

TANTRUMS: Manchester City striker Robinho walked out on a training camp. © Unknown.
TANTRUMS: Manchester City striker Robinho walked out on a training camp. © Unknown.

LONDON - Manchester City suffered a double dose of Brazilian blues when striker Robinho walked out on a training camp in Tenerife following their failure to sign his compatriot Kaka.

LONDON - Manchester City suffered a double dose of Brazilian blues when striker Robinho walked out on a training camp in Tenerife following their failure to sign his compatriot Kaka.

Instead of celebrating what would have been a world record transfer, City's executive chairman Garry Cook was left to lament the role of Kaka's club AC Milan in the failed bid.

Cook was part of a group of City officials who spent seven hours in the Italian city on Monday trying to secure the world record transfer of the Brazilian midfielder but said the Italian club lost their nerve.

"I think there was some political pressure and definitely media space that they engaged in. To be honest, I think they bottled it," Cook told the club's website (www.mcfc.co.uk).

"We never met the player, we only met the representatives, we never actually made him an offer on personal terms.

"We've been to Milan four times and the delegation yesterday involved three lawyers, a board member who had flown from Abu Dhabi, myself and one other senior executive.

"We were confined to a room, with no food or drink, and we asked some questions of the football club and more importantly we asked some questions of the representatives of the player and they simple could not answer the questions.

"What they wanted to talk about was, 'how much are you going to pay him?' We chose not to get into that and we didn't make an offer to the player."

Just as Milan were announcing the deal was off, Robinho was packing his bags in Tenerife, with British media saying he had gone home to Brazil after a row with City boss Mark Hughes.

The £32 million-pound (R480 million) record signing was reported to be frustrated by City's lack of progress on the pitch and in the transfer market, with fullback Wayne Bridge and striker Craig Bellamy the only January arrivals.

"I do know Robinho is not at the training centre in Tenerife... it is a breach of club discipline and I am waiting for a full debrief," Cook told the BBC.

Robinho has scored 12 goals since arriving from Real Madrid on the final day of last year's transfer window in a stunning indication of the club's new spending power under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group.

Cook also confirmed that a fee had been agreed with Hamburg SV for Dutch international midfielder Nigel de Jong. - Reuters

X