City reject Barcelona bid for Robinho

Barcelona have confirmed a bid for Robinho was turned down by City and they don’t expect to be signing anyone this Winter.

On another day this would be a major story, but with the ongoing fallout from the weekend continuing to dominate the media, it could easily be missed.

Joan Laporta, the Barca president, appears to have put the bid in while attending the World Club Championship in Abu Dhabi. Inadvertantly, this wasn’t great timing by the Catalans.

Joan Laporta:

“Our offer for Robinho was not accepted and with the team we have, barring any unexpected last minute changes, we will not be signing during the winter.”

Roberto Mancini has just arrived and will want to make a personal check on all the players before agreeing to any sales. We’re now supposed to be going all out for a top four place, so selling our most expensive player before Mancini had spoke with him would have sent out a very odd message.

It was good see Robinho’s quotes in The Sun today:

“I want to talk with Mancini. I’ve heard good news about his work and City still have plenty of time to finish the season well.”

Given his contacts in Spain, Robinho was probably aware of the Barcelona bid, so if he’s ok with it being turned down, then that’s one less issue for Mancini to deal with.

There has never seemed any inclination from the City hierarchy to sell Robinho, and Barca don’t appear to be willing to make a substantial offer. Talk in Spain of a loan to the end of the season offers nothing to City.

It’s only likely to happen now if Mancini decides Robinho isn’t worth keeping. The Italian will no doubt be having a good look at all his new charges this week.

It will be fascinating to see whether Mancini can utilise Robinho and get more out of him than Hughes did. The teamsheet for Saturday will make interesting reading, particularly to see whether the Brazilian is on it. Imagine if he was to repeat his hat-trick of last season – what a message that would send out.

Robinho has struggled for fitness in the first half of the season. He now looks fit, and getting him firing could be a big boost to our top four ambitions.

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