Blues take Robinho pursuit to the wire

Chelsea will make a final attempt today to broker a deal with Real Madrid for Robinho in a bid to bring the acrimonious transfer saga to a conclusion.

Chelsea will make a final attempt today to broker a deal with Real Madrid for Robinho in a bid to bring the acrimonious transfer saga to a conclusion.

The Brazil forward took the remarkable step of holding his own press conference on Sunday where he criticised Real coach Bernd Schuster for denying him the chance to move to Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish giants are furious following the public pursuit of the 24-year-old, and they criticised the conduct of Chelsea’s board and the club for advertising Robinho shirts on their official website.

Chelsea, who are hopeful of completing a deal, then responded with a strongly-worded statement, which read: “There is nothing wrong with publicly confirming our interest in a player when the club involved is well aware of it, has been in receipt of two bids and is negotiating to sell the player. So we completely refute any criticism from Real Madrid.

“As for the issue regarding the website, Real are well aware this was a regrettable accident by an external supplier which was rectified as soon as it was brought to our attention and not a single shirt was sold.”

Further doubt was cast on the transfer late last night when Real president Ramon Calderon insisted: “There will be no player coming in and no player leaving”, before the closure of the transfer window at midnight.

Luiz Felipe Scolari could have done with Robinho to break down Tottenham on Sunday, with the Barclays Premier League clash ending 1-1.

It was the first points dropped under Scolari as Spurs held on to get their season underway, although the Chelsea boss feels his squad is strong enough without Robinho.

To illustrate his point, Scolari revealed he had interest from Arsenal for Salomon Kalou.

“If you ask Arsene Wenger, he wants Kalou as a centre-forward and Arsene is an intelligent man,” he said.

“He wanted Kalou two or three months ago when we started negotiations for some players. I said no.

“If he loves Kalou as a number nine, I try it sometimes. But I have (Nicolas) Anelka, (Didier) Drogba and (Franco) Di Santo.”

Scolari had no complaints about the draw with Spurs, with Darren Bent cancelling out Juliano Belletti’s opener at Stamford Bridge.

Scolari added: “For me we played well. I think we need to respect Tottenham and the quality they have. Sometimes it is impossible to win.

“It was an interesting derby and a draw for me is a normal result because we had more chances but made mistakes in the final shot.

“They put eight or nine players at the back and it is difficult to create. Seven points, if we make this at the final, surely we are first. Follow the last two or three seasons. With 75% of the points you win.”

Bent was leading Spurs’ attack on his own as Dimitar Berbatov was deemed psychologically unfit to play following his transfer request in pursuit of a move to Manchester United.

After picking up their first point of the season, Bent hopes Sunday’s result will kick-start their season.

He said: “It’s similar to last season when we lost two matches. We’ve now got a point and we can’t sit on it, we have to move on and hopefully build on it after the international break. We showed a bit of what we are about.”

With Roman Pavlyuchenko arriving from Spartak Moscow, Bent could have a strike partner after the break for international football.

He added: “It’s always easier when you have a partner, he can make things happen for me and hopefully I can do the same for him.”

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