Santos preventing Robinho's 'Real' move

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Robinho's transfer to Real Madrid is being prevented by Santos' insistence that the Brazil striker stay until next year's World Cup.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Robinho's transfer to Real Madrid is being prevented by Santos' insistence that the Brazil striker stay until next year's World Cup, his agent said on Monday. "The problem isn't the money anymore, but the refusal by (Santos president) Marcelo Teixeira to let him go until next year," Wagner Ribeiro told news agency Efe. "The agreement is a long way off, although we trust it will be resolved as soon as possible." Ribeiro's remarks challenge the general belief that Robinho's transfer fee is the major stumbling block. Bid increased Madrid has reportedly increased its bid to US$25 million, but Teixeira wants the US$50 million stipulated in the buyout clause in Robinho's contract, which runs until 2008. Ribeiro, who is representing Madrid in the negotiations with Santos, said last week the Spanish team would withdraw its interest if a deal isn't concluded by Friday. Robinho is determined to play for Real Madrid and called on Teixeira to "keep his promise" and allow him to transfer. "If I'll play for Santos again, I don't know," Robinho said on Monday at a press conference transcribed on Pele's Web site. "I want to leave Brazil. I think this is my moment." Robinho said Teixeira last year agreed to release him for US$25 million. "I didn't think there would be all this hoopla when I got my first concrete offer to leave Brazil," he said. "I never had a problem with president Marcelo Teixeira. He promised something ... I hope he keeps his promise." The 21-year-old striker helped Brazil win the Confederations Cup in Germany last week, but was fined an undisclosed amount by Santos on Saturday for failing to attend two team practices on his return to Brazil. He didn't play in the Brazilian championship match against Juventude on Sunday. Focus on Real But Robinho said he was grateful to Santos fans and felt sure they would understand his desire to transfer to Europe, where Brazil's biggest stars play and earn much more than local clubs pay. "It's hard for me to say I don't want to play any more for Santos," he said. "But the intelligent fan understands that I have a right to go to Real, the best club in the world." Robinho has played a key part in Santos' revival over recent years. In 2002, Santos won its first national title since 1968, and it reached the Copa Libertadores final a year later. Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo led the team to the league again in December before joining Madrid. (AP)

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