Friday, 28 August 2009

Balague: MH rejects Pep's Robi bid

From Guillem Balague's Mirror column:

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola started the week desperately trying to contact Mark Hughes by phone in a bid to convince Manchester City to sell him Robinho.

Hughes and Guardiola had chatted at the Camp Nou before last week’s friendly, and the Barcelona coach was told there was no chance of Robinho leaving.

Why did Guardiola persist? A very well known intermediary had suggested that City could sign Arjen Robben and told Barcelona that Robinho would be willing to move.

However, Guardiola found that Hughes’ phone went unanswered – and sources at City now say that their transfer activity for this summer is over, but plans are already in place for further additions in January.

This is interesting. Followers of Spanish football will know that Barça have spent all summer looking for a left forward: both Thierry Henry and Andrés Iniesta can play there, and very well too, but neither are specialists, which is why they went for Franck Ribéry. That bid having failed, they have switched attention to Robinho.

But that's just background. The key point here is that, if we believe Balague - and he does have good sources at Barcelona - Hughes has rejected an approach for Robinho. Now, this is quite a surprise given what we learnt last season about their relationship. I had understood that any serious offer for Robinho would be accepted quite happily by Hughes this summer. So for a move to be rejected may well suggest that something - perhaps Robinho's upturn in form last April and May - has changed the manager's mind on this.

1 comment:

Ambient said...

Interesting as well that this coincides with Arjen Robben going to Bayern.Who knows what longer term deals have already been done? For example if Bayern were to be eliminated or have litte chance in the Champions League to progress, could Ribery perhaps be on his way to City in a player swap for Robinho or is MH perhaps giving Robinho one last chance?