Robinho says Santos deal is almost done

While the City manager, Roberto Mancini, insisted he wants the player to stay so long as he is happy, the Brazilian says he is "90 per cent" certain he is returning back home.

Robinho is convinced he has played his last game for Manchester City and will be heading back to Brazil. While the City manager, Roberto Mancini, insisted he wants the player to stay so long as he is happy, Robinho says he is "90 per cent" certain he is returning to Santos, the Brazilian club where he began his career. Santos claim discussions have already taken place, with the sticking point being City's desire for any club which takes Robinho to pay a sizeable proportion of the player's weekly wages, which are well in excess of £100,000 (Dh596,000).

Robinho told TV Globo yesterday: "It's all on the right track. Santos are looking at the duration of my loan. Santos want a year, but City want just six months. It's 90 per cent certain. In two or three days it should be sealed." The Santos president, Luis Alvaro Ribeiro, has also revealed that the deal struck with City could allow the Premier League club first refusal on talented youngsters Paulo Henrique Ganso and Neymar

City's Brazilian left-back Sylvinho understands the "difficult" time Robinho is going through, but is still hoping his fellow Brazilian stays at City. Robinho scored in City's 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round win at Scunthorpe on Sunday, his 16th goal in what has been a difficult 17 months since joining from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of £32.5m. Sylvinho, who has been close to Robinho since arriving from Barcelona last summer, said: "He is set in Manchester. He is a good guy and loves to play, but sometimes it is difficult. I don't know what's going on in his mind, but you have to respect him. Football is a big business. "He is a young player, a top player, one of the best, and he loves Manchester City and everyone at Carrington [training ground] loves him. If he stays at City, it will be really good for us."

Meanwhile, City's Slovakian international midfielder Vladimir Weiss, 20, has joined Bolton on loan until the end of the season. "The fact that he has a chance of going to this year's World Cup shows just how much ability he possesses," the Bolton manager, Owen Coyle, said.