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Jan 20, 2009

Robinho: I have no problem with Man City

Robinho has moved to quash speculation that he is unhappy at Manchester City after he was reported to have walked out on the club during a training camp in Tenerife.

The striker was said to have flown back to Brazil after an altercation with City boss Mark Hughes, but has since maintained that he has no problem with the club, despite their failure to land international team-mate Kaka.

Robinho told BBC Sport: ''I had made Manchester City aware that I needed to return to Brazil because of a family matter. I will return to the club and hope to sort this out as soon as possible.''

He added: ''I feel it is important to underline that I did not return to Brazil because of the Kaka deal. He is one of my good friends and it would have been great to see him at Manchester City - but it had nothing to do with his decision to stay in Milan.

''I am committed to helping Manchester City become the force the owners assured me they will become.''

A statement on his personal website said: ''Robinho is very happy at Manchester City. He believes in the club's project, on its promises and proposals and has no intention of leaving his new home. There has been a lack of communication somewhere, but nothing has changed.

''Since last week Robinho had asked for the club's permission to travel, in order to solve some family problems. Therefore, after training at Tenerife on Monday he left for Brazil, with his wife and baby and will be back in a short few days.

''He will for sure be playing on Wednesday against Newcastle and, as usual, will give his all to help the club to achieve victory. He is very motivated and says he wants to be the league´s top scorer. Therefore, while in Brazil with the family, he will be excersing and keeping fit for the upcoming match.

''Robinho was cheering for Kaka and hopes that the club will soon find a replacement as high level as Kaka is.''

Chris Nathaniel, NVA Management CEO and personal advisor to Robinho, added: ''It is unfortunate that the portrayal of Robinho's decision to fly to Brazil has been cast in such a negative light.

''I have no doubts that this will all be cleared up when Robinho returns to the UK. The player is impressed by the owner's visions for the club and loves the passion of the City fans.''

Earlier, City's executive chairman Garry Cook told the BBC: "I do know Robinho is not at the training centre in Tenerife.

"If he has left the training ground it is a breach of club discipline. I am waiting for a full debrief."

The Blues smashed the British transfer record when they splashed out £32.5million on the 24-year-old in August last year and, on a personal level, Robinho has been a success, netting 12 goals for his new club - becoming an instant hit with the City faithful.

But the player has a history of problems off the pitch, with then-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon claiming that ''his departure from Madrid [to City] wasn't just due to sporting reasons, there is something else, which I can't understand.''

Robinho has also hit out at City this season, criticising them for their "small-time mentality", which had many questioning his commitment to the club.

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