Real Madrid hit back at Robinho and Chelsea

MADRID – Real Madrid reacted angrily on Sunday to Robinho's renewed calls for them to stop blocking his move to Chelsea, hitting out at the player and the Premier League club.

The Spanish champions’ statement came swiftly after the Brazil forward Robinho held a news conference in a Madrid hotel to state his case again, with little over 24 hours remaining before the end of the transfer window.

"The club refers to an earlier statement on this matter, when it said if the player’s final decision was to unilaterally rescind his contract, we would have no option but to accept it," Real said on their website (www.realmadrid.com).

"Real deplore the way Chelsea’s directors have acted despite knowing perfectly well the decision not to sell the player, making statements and even going so far as to sell shirts with the player’s name on through their official website."

Earlier, Robinho spoke at a chaotic news conference, saying: "The situation has not changed. I want to leave Real and play for Chelsea. I am only thinking of Chelsea and want to play there.

"Since May I have been trying to renew my contract but they didn’t want to know because they were so sure of signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Now they haven’t signed anyone they don’t want me to go."

Robinho has watched Real’s last two matches from the sidelines and was left out of coach Bernd Schuster’s squad for the Primera Liga opener away to Deportivo Coruna later on Sunday.

Schuster said the player was not in the right frame of mind to represent the club with his future still up in the air but that he would be delighted to take him back if the proposed move fell through.

SCHUSTER ATTACK

In a new move, the 24-year-old Robinho criticised his coach, who has consistently said he wants the forward to stay.

"(Real president Ramon) Calderon had said that if a good offer came they would let me go. Chelsea have made a great effort and I don’t know what more I can do," he added.

"I have told the president, the sports director and the coach I want to go. I won’t refuse to play for Real if I stay. But if Schuster wants to keep a player who is unhappy it is his responsibility."

Just over a week ago Robinho said in an interview that he was determined to take up an offer to move to Chelsea.

Real countered by saying they did not want to keep a player against his will but that he had to resolve his contractual position, and a 150-million-euro buy-out clause, before he went.

Negotiations have continued throughout the week with Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon and Robinho’s agent Wagner Ribeiro both saying a deal was imminent.

Real are reported by Spanish media to be holding out for 40 million euros — a valuation Chelsea have yet to match after upping an earlier offer to around 35 million euros.

The matter has been further complicated by Real’s failure to land a suitable replacement during the week when targets Santi Cazorla and David Villa signed improved deals with Villarreal and Valencia respectively. Reuters