Mancini keen to keep Robinho

New Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists he wants record signing Robinho to remain at Eastlands, and has backed him to "improve".

The 25-year-old Brazilian has blown hot and cold for City this season and has been linked with a move away from the club when the transfer window opens next month.

The £32.5million acquisition from Real Madrid had reportedly requested a meeting with Mancini to hear the Italian’s plans for moving the club forward.

And the former Inter Milan coach, who handed Robinho a start in his opening game at the helm against Stoke on Boxing Day before replacing him with Craig Bellamy 20 minutes from time, appears keen to keep the player.

Quoted in several national newspapers, Mancini said: "The important thing for me is that Robinho stays here because he can earn a place in the history of the club.

"I think Robinho played a good game because Stoke is a strong, physical side. It is not the kind of game Robinho would have preferred. But for me he can improve every game.

"I don’t know him very well and he doesn’t know me. Robinho is a great player and I want him to stay with us."