Monday, 7 September 2009

Robinho talks up Barça move

This is a story that has rumbled on for a while now. Guillem Balague told us last month that City had rejected Barcelona's approaches for Robinho, but suggested that a future move was quite possible. Since then it has been big news in Catalonia - El Mundo Deportivo - which is to FC Barcelona what Marca is to Real Madrid - has been full of stories of a potential move.

Barça are certainly interested. It is no secret they have been chasing a left-forward this summer, an alternative to the ageing Thierry Henry. They came no closer than Real Madrid in tempting Franck Ribéry to Spain, before failing to get either David Silva or Juan Manuel Mata from Valencia. And so Robinho is next on their list. But until today the suggestion that the interest was requited was only rumour. Rumour, as it happened, that I believed, but rumour nonetheless.

But Robinho has been talking freely on international duty, and this has made Tuesday's Guardian:
"It's not easy to say no to a club like Barcelona. They are European champions, they're in a lovely city and I like Spain a lot. I have always wanted to play at clubs like Barcelona. It's a great club, any player would be happy for them to show an interest. I'm happy that Barcelona have taken notice of me. Who wouldn't like to play alongside Xavi, [Andrés] Iniesta, [Lionel] Messi, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and all the rest. I like Barcelona; they're a great club."
There are two questions remaining. Does Robinho want to move sufficiently to force a transfer? Given his conduct at Real Madrid this cannot be ruled out. Just because we're rich does not mean that we are immune to player power. And, crucially, what does Mark Hughes make of all this? The state of his relationship with de Souza last season meant that his decision not to sell him this summer was rather surprising. Could this interest be the excuse he has been waiting for to get rid?

But even with our keeping Martin Petrov on deadline day I doubt we would sell Robinho without replacing him. And who exactly is there? Hughes is a big fan of Franck Ribéry but it seems set in stone that he will join Real Madrid after the World Cup. Presuming also that Iniesta, Arshavin, and Robben are beyond us, there are not that many names left. Given Hughes' fetishisation of Premier League experience, how about a big money move for Ashley Young or even Joe Cole, whose contract situation remains unresolved? I'm just thinking out loud here.

This could be one of the big stories of 2010.


Bent the Golden Boot said...

Of course Robinho has great admiration for Barca and has gone on record he would like to play for them one day. In fact he showed his loyalty to City with this the other day:

'The club have set their sights high this year and backed that up in the transfer market. We've built a stronger squad than last year and can handle any team.

'There have been great additions - now we need to understand we must be stronger mentally. We can be like that this season and have what it takes to go for the title. The more I think about it, the more I think this year must be our year.'

jackblue said...

It's all smoke and mirrors. Hacks and bloggers understandably suffer withdrawal symptoms when the frenzy of the transfer windows end. So they sit around disconsolently drinking their; wine,beer, anisette, ouzo, sangria (delete as applicable), and fantasise.

newsoftheblues said...

brandy for me

Simon said...

Another twist to this story is the rumor that persists that Terry Henry will be asked for as part of the deal. This meets Hughes' requirement for Premier League experience, although the age of the player could (and rightly should) be seen as a problem. If it was the Henry of 5 years ago, he would be a natural replacement for the left sided forward player - but now, I'm not so sure.

Da C.I.A. said...

The same story again...
In Santos, Robinho, like a child, cried and forced directors to sell him.
In Real Madrid there was another excuse: He had no affection from the team and the supporters. Then he cried and forced directors to sell him.
And now, what will be?
Robinho has a lack of maturity and professionalism. Worse than this, he really thinks he is the best player in the world. He really thinks he is greater than Manchester City, team that he not choose but was the only way after Madrid's shame!