Manchester City sign deal with Robinho


Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Brazil forward Robinho from Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to Chelsea this summer but City concluded a deal for the player shortly before the midnight transfer deadline, with the fee believed to be a British record.

The news comes on the day Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment began the process to take over at City, entering a period of due diligence.

Manager Mark Hughes told "I am absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to work with such an incredible talent like Robinho.

"I have said that in order to compete with the best teams in the Premier League we have to be in the market for players of this caliber, and Robinho is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world."

Robinho's move to Eastlands will have stunned Chelsea, who remained confident of signing the Brazilian early this evening.

Blues boss Luiz Felipe Scolari viewed his compatriot as key to fulfilling his brief of producing attacking football at Stamford Bridge.

But Real appeared unwilling to do business with Chelsea and criticized the manner of their pursuit yesterday.

The 24-year-old, capped 42 times, took the unusual step of calling a press conference on Sunday morning when he reiterated his desire to join the Blues.

Real blocked the move but Chelsea remained confident they would capture the former Santos marksman - until City's astonishing intervention late on Monday.

Bankrolled by Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover, City capped a remarkable transfer deadline day by offering £32.4million - with Real accepting.

City had earlier grabbed the headlines by attempting to hijack Dimitar Berbatov's transfer to Manchester United but when the Bulgarian opted for Old Trafford they moved instead for Robinho.

The Brazilian, who has signed a four-year deal, scored 25 goals in 101 games at the Bernabeu, during which time he won two Primera Liga winner's medals.

He moved to Spain three years ago after rising to prominence with Santos in his homeland. He has also scored 11 times for his country.

Hughes added: "I am really looking forward to introducing him to the rest of the squad, and to the City fans at the earliest opportunity. This is a real statement of intent as to the ambitions of Manchester City Football Club."