Robinho is facing a challenge to retain his place at Manchester City after angering his manager, Mark Hughes, with his increasingly disappointing performances in the club’s away matches.
City have not won away from home in the Premier League since their second away game of the season at Sunderland and, according to sources withinthe club, Robinho’s poor form is regarded as a significant factor.
According to a report in today’s Guardian, Hughes is so disappointed that he is now considering dropping Robinho when Martin Petrov is fit again after five months out with a knee injury. Petrov has been cleared to step up his training after seeing a specialist, with a view to being available for selection in the next two or three weeks.
Robinho’s performance at Chelsea on Sunday has attracted strong criticism but Hughes has suspected for some time that the Brazilian’s displays indicate he is not fully committed to the club.
Robinho has been described behind the scenes as a “passenger” and his future has been discussed at length in Manchester and Abu Dhabi following his arrival in September in British record £32.5m deal.
City may now decide to listen to offers for the Brazilian at the end of the season, although Hughes is prepared to retain the player if he demonstrates a desire to stay. Failing that, one plan is to offer him as lure to Chelsea in a possible player-plus-money exchange for John Terry, despite the England captain’s insistence that he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge.
Another option that City are considering would be to offer Robinho to Bayern Munich in a possible exchange for Franck Ribéry.