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Jan 22, 2009

AWOL Robinho set for showdown talks

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes will hold showdown talks with AWOL star Robinho when he returns from his unauthorised break in Brazil.

The £32.5m summer signing from Real Madrid walked out of City's training camp in Tenerife on Monday, leaving club officials to admit they did not know where he had gone and casting doubts over his future at the club.

Hughes has revealed that although the 24-year-old left without permission he will return to Manchester at the weekend for face-to-face talks and hinted that he would take disciplinary action.

After speaking to Robinho on the telephone Hughes said: "Robbie left without permission, he felt that he had personal things that he needed to attend to."

"He made the decision to leave the camp, and go back to Brazil. That was not with my permission, and the situation at the moment is not really practical to get him back here, so he will be back at the weekend ready to train when we are back in Manchester at the first available opportunity" Hughes added.

Hughes also made it clear in a Sky Sports News interview his club's most expensive player has said sorry.

''He has apologised that he left without permission. He needs to be able to put his side of the story. I will put mine - and we will move on.

''There was a situation where 'Robbie' thought he had permission to go. That was not the case. I expect him to be here, working hard and training with the team. It will be resolved very quickly when he comes back.

''He was very apologetic - and he wants everyone to know he has been training on his own while he has been away and is looking forward to getting back.''

Hughes also denied initial rumours that Robinho's dash to Brazil was provoked by the City's failure to land his international team-mate Kaka.

"He has already said that himself, and he was on a plane back to Brazil when the Kaka deal was dead and buried," Hughes added. "People trying to link the two are trying to cause a little bit of mischief."

Meanwhile, Robinho has insisted that he is happy at City and says there is no rift with Hughes.

"I have a good relationship with Mark Hughes and have always respected his decisions," Robinho stated on his official website. "He is the boss!"

"I like living in Manchester and I have made many friends at the club and at the city, since I arrived last year," he said.

"I admire the Manchester City fans, who are true lovers of football and loyal to the players.

"I am looking forward to delivering as many goals as possible to help our team move to the next level."

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