Mancini wants Robinho stay
Roberto Mancini insists he wants to keep Robinho at Manchester City amid widespread reports he is to move to Santos on loan.
Last Updated: 24/01/10 8:35pm
Roberto Mancini insists he wants to keep Robinho at Manchester City amid widespread reports the Brazilian is heading back to his homeland with Santos.
The pre-match talk prior to City's 4-2 win at Scunthorpe in the FA Cup on Sunday centred on an interview Robinho had given to a Brazilian radio station, in which he said he had been told by club directors he was leaving Eastlands to join Santos in a loan deal.
Robinho scored City's fourth goal late on at Glanford Park in what appeared to be his parting gift to the club before his return to Brazil.
Mancini, though, denied any knowledge of an imminent Robinho exit and said he was keen for the player to stay at City, on the proviso he was happy at the club.
He said: "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.
"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.
"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 went on to claim that he had not handed Robinho his first start since Boxing Day in a bid to convince him to stay at the club.
Mancini 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 but he played today."
The City boss was delighted with his side's FA Cup progress but admitted they faced 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 today with Arsenal and Stoke. Every game will be hard and the next game against Stoke will be a difficult game."