Manchester City suffered a double
dose of Brazilian blues when striker Robinho walked out on a
training camp in Tenerife just as their bid to sign his
compatriot Kaka was rejected.
Instead of celebrating what would have been a world record
transfer, City's executive chairman Garry Cook was left to
lament the role of Kaka's club AC Milan in the failed bid.
Cook was part of a group of City officials who spent seven
hours in the Italian city on Monday trying to secure the world
record transfer of the Brazilian midfielder but said the Italian
club lost their nerve.
"I think there was some political pressure and definitely
media space that they engaged in. To be honest, I think they
bottled it," Cook told the club's website.
"We never met the player, we only met the representatives,
we never actually made him an offer on personal terms.
"We've been to Milan four times and the delegation yesterday
involved three lawyers, a board member who had flown from Abu
Dhabi, myself and one other senior executive.
"What they wanted to talk about was; `how much are you going
to pay him? We chose not to get into that and we didn't make an
offer to the player."
Just as Milan were announcing the deal was off, Robinho was
packing his bags to travel to Brazil.
The 32 million-pound ($44.95 million) record signing was
reported to be frustrated by City's lack of progress on the
pitch and in the transfer market, with full-back Wayne Bridge and
striker Craig Bellamy the only January arrivals.
"I do know Robinho is not at the training centre in
Tenerife...it is a breach of club discipline and I am waiting
for a full debrief," Cook told the BBC.
Robinho has scored 12 goals since arriving from Real Madrid
on the final day of last year's transfer window in a stunning
indication of the club's new spending power under the ownership
of the Abu Dhabi United Group.
He said, however, that he had made the club aware that he
had to return to Brazil because of a family matter.
"I will return to the club and hope to sort this out as soon
as possible," he said.
"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."
A statement on Robinho's personal website citing "sources close to the player"
said he would be back in time to play for City in their next
game, against Newcastle United on January 28.
Despite the setbacks, City will continue to look to invest
their huge funds.
"We've got clear plans, we are not going to stop," Cook
said, also confirming that a fee had been agreed with Hamburg SV
for Dutch international midfielder Nigel De Jong.
"This club deserves great players and the fans deserve great
players and we will continue on that goal; we are building for
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