January 25, 2010

Manchester City forward Robinho has spoken to a Brazilian television network about his anticipated return to Santos, the club where he made his name as a rising star of samba soccer.

Robinho initially joined the Citizens after a three-year stay at Real Madrid. Following Sheikh Mansour's completed takeover at City, Robinho sealed a late switch -- for a British record $55.6 million -- after a breakdown in the Chelsea deal.

However, the forward, who has made just six appearances this season, has failed to replicate the form he has displayed under the tutelage of Dunga on the international stage for both former club boss Mark Hughes, and now Roberto Mancini.

Despite Mancini's recent statements suggesting otherwise, Robinho insists a midseason exit from Eastlands, albeit temporary, is imminent.

He is quoted by The Times to have said: "It's [the transfer] all on the right track. Santos are looking at the duration of my loan. Santos want a year, but City want just six months. It's 90 percent certain. In two or three days it should be sealed."

Any loan deal will likely include the option of two talented players as a makeweight. The first refusal of both Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso may be embedded into any deal struck.

The president of Santos, Luiz Álvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro, said: "They want the first choice to buy the two boys. That does not bother us because we sell the players for the best offer. If City have the conditions to match the offer, they can have the players."

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