Robinho returns to Santos

BY foxsports • January 28, 2010

Manchester City forward Robinho is joining Brazilian club Santos on a six-month loan in a bid to revive his form ahead of the World Cup.

The Brazil international has been worried that his lack of regular playing time at City could affect his chances of making the team at South Africa 2010.

"Robinho is someone who needs to be playing regularly and we wish him well for the period of his loan," City manager Roberto Mancini said Thursday.

Robinho has been a regular in Brazil's squad under coach Dunga, but several players have been competing for a position in the team's attack for the World Cup.

"He is going to be in much better shape than he would be on the sidelines," Santos official Paulo Jamelli said. "I think that with Santos he is going to guarantee his invitation to the World Cup as a starter. He's a player whose quality cannot be disputed."

Until Robinho's scheduled return to City on Aug. 4, the Premier League club said that Santos "will assume all of the player's contract terms, including wages and bonuses."

"It was a negotiation that had a very happy ending for Santos," said Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro. "It's a great present for the fans."

The 26-year-old Robinho, who will fly to Brazil on Sunday, won two national titles with Santos, Pele's former club. He joined Real Madrid in 2005.

Robinho left in 2008 to join City for a British-record fee of 32.5 million pounds ($58 million), becoming the first signing following Sheikh Mansour's takeover.

But after hitting 12 goals in his first 19 games, Robinho has scored only once this season, at Scunthorpe in Sunday's FA Cup victory.

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