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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 14:36 GMT
Real close in on signing Robinho
Robinho training with his current club Santos
Robinho has attracted interest from top clubs in Europe
Real Madrid are set to beat Chelsea to the signing of Santos' 20-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Robinho.

"Real Madrid are the best club in the world," Robinho told Spanish newspaper Diario AS.

"Any footballer dreams about playing there and I am no different. I would like to play in Spain and I hope that can happen one day."

Robinho's mother was kidnapped two weeks and no deal will be concluded until the situation is resolved.

"I hope all of this is over as quickly as possible, that my mother comes back home and that I can go back to playing football as soon as possible," he said.

Earlier reports had suggested that Chelsea were the favourites for Robinho's signature, with the player's agent, Wagner Rubiero, telling the News of the World: "Chelsea are the only team who have confirmed they are prepared to pay 14m.

"Rubinho is excited at the prospect of the move and we are trying to make sure everything is okay."

According to Rubiero, the Blues are keen to seal the deal when the transfer window re-opens in January.

He added: "We are following Chelsea very closely in order to give Robinho all the information, so he is not scared of going to a country so different to Brazil.

"But Robinho asked me to check clubs in Europe after what happened with his mother. Chelsea have made an offer and that is encouraging."

Robinho has been dubbed by Brazilian legend Pele as "my successor".

He has been pivotal at Santos and has already attracted interest from other top European clubs, including AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Real Madrid close in on Robinho
11 Nov 04 |  Europe

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