Robinho’s representative has confirmed that Arsenal are interested in the precocious Brazilian talent, but insists that Real Madrid still have an agreement with the player.

The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Madrid for several months, but their hopes of acquiring Robinho on the cheap, look slim as his reputation continues to soar.

Juan Figer, who owns 40 percent of Robinho’s rights, believes that by questioning Santos’ valuation of the player, Real may have jeopardised their chances of signing Robinho.

“He is a player very much in demand and his price has gone up in recent weeks,” said Figer.

“It is true that Arsenal are interested, but it’s not a question of it being a race. The fact is that Real Madrid have an advantage.

“There is an agreement between Real Madrid and Robinho, but he has a contract with Santos and he has become a state matter in Brazil.

“He is the best player in the Brazilian league and nobody wants to see him leave the country, not even the president.”

Figer says that his good form for Brazil – with whom he has excelled at this year’s Confederations Cup – will see Santos upping his asking price.

“At the time I said that Madrid should have closed the deal and not just assured themselves an option on the player and now it is going to cost them a lot more time and effort to sign him,” added Figer.

“Although they only have 60% of his rights, Santos are calm. He has a buy-out clause of $50 million (£27 million) and a contract until the end of June 2008.”