CHELSEA FC FANS -ROBINHO UPDATE- SATURDAY 23 AUGUST 2008
FROM ESPN SOCCERNET
Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to trim his squad before the transfer window closes after being given the green light to sign Robinho from Real Madrid.
Real have announced they have no intentions of keeping the Brazil forward as he desperately wants to join his compatriot Scolari at Stamford Bridge and challenge Cristiano Ronaldo to be considered the finest current player in the world.
Ramon Calderon, president for the Spanish giants, has suggested the 24-year-old could buy himself out of his contract to facilitate the move.
'No player will be kept here against their will. This does not mean that Madrid will not defend the interests of the club,' said Calderon in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
'I'm sure that Robinho has already weighed up the consequences of his decision and I'm sure that in the next few days he will give a letter to the club to announce that he wants to go. If he does not want to be here, he should leave as soon as possible.'
Calderon added: 'He would end his contract but the courts will decide what he has to pay.'
Calderon has been clearly upset with Robinho for engineering a move to the Premier League but it appears inevitable now he will leave the Bernabeu to be part of Scolari's new era.
Scolari wants to work with a 24-man squad this season and could allow Shaun Wright-Phillips and Andriy Shevchenko to leave. Juliano Belletti is also expected to depart.
'If the club sells one or two more players it's not a problem for me,' Scolari said.
'I don't know if some clubs want Shaun. In the last game he played 25-30 minutes and he has played for the second time in the first group of training.
'I don't know what the player is thinking about with regards offers from other teams. If I have 24-25 players with me and three or four for (every) two positions then I'm happy. I have three or four players in this wing-right and wing-left position.'
Scolari takes his team to Wigan this weekend looking for a second win of the Premier League season and also to stay ahead of Manchester United, who play on Monday.
Scolari admits the opening-day performance against Portsmouth was a relief.
'I was afraid for this game,' said Scolari. 'After 30 minutes we scored two goals and I was more relaxed.
'I think in my opinion we are not better than Arsenal, because they won and had three points. We are not better than Liverpool because they also won.
'We need now to win again, against Wigan, and maybe Arsenal or Liverpool draw or lose - then we are in the best position.
'Now we are better (than Manchester United), today, but on Sunday maybe not. In the final we want to arrive in front of all the other teams and be better.'
Brazil international Robinho, seen here on August 6. Real Madrid have said they would not keep Chelsea target Robinho if the Brazilian striker is determined to leave the Spanish champions
FROM bleacherreport.com - (Author) Gonzalo - 22 August 2008
Robinho Burns Bridges at Real Madrid
He's been unsettled all summer. Who would have guessed that Real Madrid's chasing of Cristiano Ronaldo would have the effect not of bringing the Portuguese winger to the club, but instead driving away one of its most popular stars?
It's been on the cards since Wagner Ribeiro, Robinho's agent, said last month that the player felt "undervalued" and that there was interest from Chelsea. However, Robinho himself has kept quiet on the issue, at least in public. Until today.
In an interview with Spanish news agency EFE, Robinho has finally said publicly that he wants to leave Real Madrid for Chelsea.
In a move calculated to put pressure on the Real Madrid President and board, he will soon have the fans asking for him to leave with statements like:
"It's not for money. My personal objective is to be the best player in the World and that is not going to happen at Real Madrid. That's why I've set myself the target of playing in the English Premiership next season."
"I think my time at Real Madrid is at an end. I hope that the management reaches agreement with Chelsea to resolve my situation as soon as possible."
"I've never missed a training session at Real Madrid. I've trained every day and I will continue to do so. Whether I play or not [against Valencia in the Spanish Supercup this Sunday] I don't know, mainly because if I don't have a good game people can say it's because my mind is elsewhere. To avoid those kinds of comments, it's better for Schuster to pick other players."
"My message to the fans is thank you for your affection and the way you've treated me."
So now the ball is firmly in Calderón's court. He can keep Robinho at Real against his wishes but, after such a public statement, neither the fans nor his team mates will be very happy with him in the squad.
All of which plays to some extent into Chelsea's hands. Wagner Ribeiro said earlier this week that Real Madrid would be willing to sell Robinho to the London club for €40 million. I wonder if his price has now dropped somewhat.
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