Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admits he won’t stop Robinho leaving if the Brazil forward is not happy at Eastlands.
Robinho told a Brazilian radio station over the weekend that City’s directors are happy to let him return home to join Santos on loan before the transfer window closes on February 1.
After watching Robinho score City’s final goal in their 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round win at Scunthorpe on Sunday, Mancini denied any knowledge of an imminent exit for the former Real Madrid star but did concede that he would let him leave if he isn’t happy.
Robinho, who cost City a club record £32,5-million last season, has repeatedly produced below-par displays and Mancini appeared to run out of patience when he replaced the winger after sending him on as substitute against Everton earlier this month.
“I think one player can stay in a squad only if he is happy, if he wants to play every game and if he wants to work every day. That is most important because the players and manager must be happy,” Mancini said.
“I hope he will stay here but it is important he will stay here happy and enjoy it. He is a very good player. I think he is enjoying Manchester.
“Hopefully in the end Robinho will stay here. In the next day the situation can change but at the moment he stays here and I am very happy for him.”
Mancini knows he has several other attacking options so he has no pressing need to keep Robinho if he continues to under-perform.
He added: “I have five or six strikers and I must decide every game between them. It’s impossible to play with four strikers. Robinho didn’t play against Manchester United [in the League Cup] but he played against Scunthorpe.”
Mancini was pleased with his side’s FA Cup progress but admitted they face another tough test in the fifth round when Arsenal’s conquerors Stoke visit Eastlands.
He added: “The FA Cup is very difficult and we saw that with Arsenal and Stoke. Every game will be hard and the next game against Stoke will be a difficult game.”
Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins admitted City’s extra quality had seen them through but he praised his Championship side for the way they pushed their illustrious opponents all the way.
Adkins said: “I’m pleased for the players who have worked hard and made it an entertaining Cup tie against the might of Manchester City and the big players they have brought here.
“We all had a belief that there was a giant-killing in the offing but it just wasn’t to be. We got off to a bad start but credit to the players, they didn’t buckle.
“They regrouped and kept going and conceded a goal on the stroke of half-time that can deflate anybody. But they came out in the second half and gave it a right good go.
“You’ve seen the way they break — they’re like the Red Arrows [aerobatic flight display team] at times — and that’s the difference between the very top and where we are.” — Sapa-AFP