Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed the club is holding talks with both Santos and Sao Paolo over a potential loan move for Robinho.
• Santos confirm Robinho talks
Robinho revealed at the weekend that he hoped to return to Santos and said he felt it was 90% likely a deal would go through.
Mancini has now confirmed there is a good chance Robinho could return to Brazil if a satisfactory arrangement over his wages and the length of the deal can be made, and says the move is the result of the player's desire for first-team football.
"The World Cup in June is a big problem for him," Mancini said. "He wants to play for the national team. I understand that but I must decide what is best for the team. I have five or six strikers to choose from, which makes it difficult for him and me."
Latest estimates from Santos claim they expect some sort of loan agreement to be done on Thursday, with the deal "98% concluded", according to the club's president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro.
"I would say that the negotiations have now advanced three percentage points from the 95%," Ribeiro told Arena Sportv. "I hope it will increase one percent every 24 hours. There are a few financial and contractual details still to sort out. But we are finalising them and I think it will be this Thursday."
Robinho will be included in the squad for the second leg of City's Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Wednesday, and he could be joined by both Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo toure.
Adebayor returned to training on Monday and declared himself available despite his horrific experience at the African Nations Cup in Angola with Togo, who pulled out of the competition following the shooting which left three of their party dead.
Toure, meanwhile, was part of the Ivory Coast team that crashed out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage to England's World Cup opponents Algeria on Sunday.
"I spoke with Emmanuel yesterday," Mancini said. "He is training with us now and I think he will be ready to be on the bench.
"We won't see Kolo until tomorrow and I need to see how he has recovered before I decide whether he is also on the bench or whether he plays. I am sad for him that the Ivory Coast got knocked out - but I am happy for us.''
ESPNsoccernet understands that Santos remain favourites to clinch a deal for the Brazilian but a close associate of Robinho believes his departure will be tinged with regret.
"The simple truth is that Robinho failed at City, and its been a very expensive failure, £32 million worth," the source told Soccernet. "Now City have a problem, because Robinho hasn't been playing well and wants to go home to play back in Brazil.
"To do that, he will have to take an enormous hit on his salary, but he doesn't seem to care because he just wants to go back home and play. It wouldn't surprise me if City name him in the squad for their cup semi-final with Manchester United, probably on the bench, before he leaves, provided they can all do a deal on his wages.
"It will only be for a six month loan, but then what happens? City have a £32 million player who no longer fancies playing for them. How will the other players feel about that? they might think, if they don't like it there, they should just not try and the club will let them go?"