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Robinho pleads with City for Santos stay

Brazilian star Robinho will plead with Manchester City to allow him to return to Santos when he arrives back at the club following the end of his six-month loan spell.

• Forum: Will Robinho stay at City?
• Hubbard: Robinho to lead exodus?

Robinho, currently the Premier League's most expensive acquisition at £32.4 million, impressed at the Brazilian club after falling out of favour at Eastlands. However, City have order his return in a bid to sort out his future and the forward has made it quite clear where he wants to play.

"I'm going to ask Manchester City to let me stay at Santos," Robinho told Globo TV. "This club has only brought me joy so far. I won two Brazilian championships [in 2002 and 2004] here before and now we've won the Copa do Brasil.

"I have to talk to Manchester City about what will happen with me in the future. I have a contract with them and that has to be respected. My heart is with Santos, but if Manchester City don't want me to stay here, I have to respect that."

Despite the fact that City have rejected bids upwards of £15 million for Robinho and have no desire to see him go out on loan while paying his £160,000-a-week wages, Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro remains hopeful that the forward will return to the club.

"The club [City] have told us they don't want to loan him out again but Robinho will go back and talk to their board," he said. "No one plays where one doesn't want to and I still believe we can persuade Manchester City to loan him for a little longer.

"We agreed a free loan at the start of the year and we want the same conditions now, whereby we pay his wages. That would be good for Brazilian football, for Robinho and for Manchester City themselves because it would keep the value of the player.

"I will fight for Robinho just as the players fought on the pitch [to win the Brazilian Cup], up to the limit of our possibilities."

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