City target Samba starlets
Santos' president claims Man City want first refusal on Paulo Henrique and Neymar as part of Robinho's deal.
Last Updated: 26/01/10 8:11am
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro claims Manchester City want first refusal on Paulo Henrique and Neymar as part of Robinho's deal.
The Brazil international is expected to re-join his former club in the coming days and cut short his unhappy spell at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Robinho is close to agreeing terms with the Brazilian outfit, although they are yet to finalise the length of the loan agreement with City.
Santos supremo Ribeiro claims City want first refusal on the youngsters as part of the deal which means they would be in pole position to sign the players should they match the highest offer for either player.
"They want the first choice to buy the two boys," explained Ribeiro.
"That does not bother us because we will sell the players for the best offer.
"If City have the conditions to match the offer, they can have the players."
Ribeiro admits he never thought he would see the day that the former Real Madrid ace would be returning to Estadio Vila Belmiro.
Robinho made his name with Santos scoring 46 goals in 111 appearances for the Brazilian giants before moving to the Spanish capital in 2005.
"Once I thought Robinho returning was just a fantasy, but I believe, after speaking with him, that it can happen," he continued.
"The information we have is that Robinho has been released by Manchester City to come back.
"He wants to be closer to Brazil for the World Cup, and in Manchester it is only two degrees, which here it is 38. He's accepted a considerable reduction in his salary."
As confirmed by Ribeiro Robinho has accepted a wage reduction with some reports speculating the 26-year-old has given up £80,000-a-week to re-join Santos.
His advisor Evandro Souza claims that Robinho is close to finalising terms with Santos with only the final points at the City end needing to be resolved to complete the transfer.
"We are very close to a deal," said Souza. "I'd say that we are 95 per cent agreed between Robinho and Santos, with only small details remaining.
"What remains now is the agreement with City. On the length of the contract, which would be six months. Santos would want more."