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Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Robinho explains Man City absence

By BBC Sport's Leon Mann

Robinho
The Brazilian forward is British football's record signing

Manchester City forward Robinho has told BBC Sport that family reasons are behind his early exit from the club's training camp in Tenerife.

The Brazilian, 24, stunned team-mates with his departure on Monday but insists his absence is unconnected to the collapse of the Kaka transfer deal.

"I had made Manchester City aware that I needed to return to Brazil because of a family matter," Robinho said.

"I will return to the club and hope to sort this out as soon as possible."

His exit comes a day after his friend and countryman Kaka rejected a move to Eastlands for what would have been a world-record fee of about 100m.

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Robinho added: "I feel it is important to underline that I did not return to Brazil because of the Kaka deal.

"He is one of my good friends and it would have been great to see him at Manchester City - but it had nothing to do with his decision to stay in Milan.

"I am committed to helping Manchester City become the force the owners assured me they will become."

Earlier on Tuesday, City had given no official reason for the Brazilian's departure and refused to comment on speculation that he had returned to South America.

Executive chairman Garry Cook told the BBC: "I do know Robinho is not at the training centre in Tenerife.

"If he has left the training ground it is a breach of club discipline. I am waiting for a full debrief."

Chris Nathaniel, a personal advisor to Robinho, added: "It is unfortunate that the portrayal of Robinho's decision to fly to Brazil have been cast in such a negative light.

"I have no doubts that this will all be cleared up when Robinho returns to the UK. The player is impressed by the owner's visions for the club and loves the passion of the City fans."

City smashed the British transfer record when they paid Real Madrid 32.5m for Robinho in August last year.

He has since scored 12 goals for his new club and become a favourite of City's fans.

Chelsea had been favourites to land the Brazilian before City stepped in to hijack the deal on transfer deadline day last summer.



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see also
Robinho's fancy footwork
02 Sep 08 |  Football
Man City move for Kaka collapses
20 Jan 09 |  Man City
Robinho aims for title with City
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City beat Chelsea to Robinho
01 Sep 08 |  Man City


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