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The truth behind the Robinho-Ronaldo swap story



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Robinho (speaking to Portuguese paper A Bola):

“I have never hidden away my wish to remain at Real Madrid, but if the interest is serious I will have no problem leaving Real Madrid as the interest from Manchester United and Chelsea makes me very proud.

There are proposals, yes.

One is from Manchester United which would be in exchange for Cristiano Ronaldo and the other is from Chelsea.”

Raise your hand if you think this is a story planted by Real Madrid in the press, a la Marca. You’re probably wrong, so raise your other hand if you think Calderon / Madrid are lying to Robinho about the interest from Manchester United. All of you? Even at the back? Thought so…

For starters, Madrid is my second club after United, so in ordinary circumstances you’d think I’d let this one go. But bullshit is bullshit, whether it’s Fergie claiming that the Glazers will sit Ronaldo in the stands for 4 years, or it’s PSG claiming that they have a chance to pry away Wenger, or it’s Kenyon backing Grant in public days before sacking him (and really, sacking him, as opposed to ‘termination by mutual consent’).

So now Madrid are claiming that United have offered to swap Ronaldo for Robinho. My my, what a bargain deal!

More likely, it’s United asking for 100m+ and Robinho in exchange for Ronaldo – Robinho replacing the player and the 100m going a long way to reinforce the squad. If push comes to shove, and if Ronaldo really wants to go, a money+player exchange is the way United would be most likely to go.

United don’t want Robinho – they have Nani progressing and Ronaldo in the form of his life. They already have two midgets playing up front. What they want is a younger and more committed Ruud. Robinho would be 10-20% of the compensation United expect if they let go of Ronaldo.

I feel sorry for Robinho, he’s being yanked around in the press for no rhyme or reason. Chelsea want him but can’t have him (unless they send Drogba their way) – United don’t want him but will take him if Madrid send enough money along with him. He’s tactfully keeping his options open by saying the interest is flattering, so he knows he’ll need to move eventually.

As for Madrid? Take Ronny, keep Robinho and send us 200m. See you in the Champions League next year too.