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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Calderon reiterates Robinho sale plans

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has again insisted wantaway forward Robinho is free to join Chelsea.

Calderon has left the future of the Brazilian up to coach Bernd Schuster and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic and claims he will not be forced to stay against his will.

Speaking prior to the second leg of the Spanish Supercopa between Madrid and Valencia last night, where Robinho was an unused substitute, Calderon echoed the comments he made on Saturday after the Brazil international announced he wanted to leave the Primera Liga champions and join Chelsea.

'His declarations have been inopportune but nobody is going to be kept at the club against their will,' Calderon told Telecinco.

However, Calderon again emphasised he would be looking for what is best for Madrid.

Calderon told Robinho on Saturday to hand in a written transfer request if he wants to leave, but vowed the club will not sell the player - suggesting the Brazilian will have to buy out his contract to gain his freedom.

'It's something else that the president does not defend the interests of the club,' Calderon said last night.

Despite declaring his desire to leave the club, Robinho was still named in Schuster's 18-man squad for the Supercopa second leg against Valencia, where Madrid were looking to overcome a 3-2 deficit from the first meeting.

He spent the whole time on the bench though as Madrid clinched a thrilling 6-5 aggregate victory despite having two men sent-off in Sunday's clash at the Bernabeu.

Schuster admits that for 'selfish' reasons he is still hoping that Robinho will remain at the Bernabeu this season.

'For me, Robinho is the same player as always - he is an important player, who should be part of this project,' Schuster said.

'I think that he knows that he can be successful at Real Madrid. It is a subject that you need to resolve in the best way possible, but we are all selfish and the best would be that he stays with us for a long time.'

The German admitted that the whole episode is not ideal, adding: 'Without doubt, it's not a comfortable situation either for him or for us.'

Schuster's decision to use Royston Drenthe, Ruben de la Red and Gonzalo Higuain as his three substitutes against Valencia paid dividends, with the latter two each scoring as nine-man Madrid won a breathtaking encounter 4-2 to take the Supercopa 6-5 on aggregate.

'The decision not to play him (Robinho) was mine,' Schuster added.

'He continues with the team because we are going to see what happens, we need to think that he could also remain with the team this season.'


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