Schuster: 'I want to keep Robinho'

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster admits that for “selfish” reasons he is still hoping that Robinho will remain at the Bernabeu this season.

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster admits that for “selfish” reasons he is still hoping that Robinho will remain at the Bernabeu this season.

Robinho announced on Friday that he wanted to leave the Spanish champions to join Chelsea – an ambition that appeared a step closer to becoming reality when Madrid responded by saying they would not keep any player against their will.

However, Real admit they do not want the player to leave, and Schuster showed on Saturday where his hopes lie by selecting Robinho in an 18-man squad for yesterday’s Supercopa second leg against Valencia.

The German coach ultimately decided against using the Brazil international during the match, leaving him on the bench, but after the thrilling victory he reiterated that he wanted the mercurial 24-year-old to stay.

“For me, Robinho is the same player as always – he is an important player, who should be part of this project,” Schuster said.

“I think that he knows that he can be successful at Real Madrid. It is a subject that you need to resolve in the best way possible, but we are all selfish and the best would be that he stays with us for a long time.”

He added: “Without doubt, it’s not a comfortable situation either for him or for us.”

Schuster’s decision to use Royston Drenthe, Ruben de la Red and Gonzalo Higuain as his three substitutes against Valencia paid dividends, with the latter two each scoring as nine-man Madrid won a breathtaking encounter 4-2 to take the Supercopa 6-5 on aggregate.

“The decision not to play him (Robinho) was mine,” Schuster added.

“He continues with the team because we are going to see what happens, we need to think that he could also remain with the team this season.”

Real president Ramon Calderon, meanwhile, left the future of the wantaway forward to Schuster and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic, while reiterating that the Brazilian will not be forced to stay against his will.

Speaking prior to yesterday’s match, Calderon echoed the comments he made on Saturday after the Brazilian announced he wanted out.

“His declarations have been inopportune but nobody is going to be kept at the club against their will,” Calderon told Telecinco.

Calderon told Robinho on Saturday to hand in a written transfer request if he wants to leave, but vowed the club will not sell the player – suggesting the Brazilian will have to buy out his contract to gain his freedom.

“It’s something else that the president does not defend the interests of the club,” Calderon added.

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