Manchester City new boy Robinho told Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon he would “rather be a travelling salesman” than remain at the Bernabeu, the Brazilian’s agent has revealed.
Robinho joined the Eastlands club late on Monday in a shock deadline-day move having looked set for a transfer to City’s Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The 24-year-old had been unsettled at Madrid ever since he was linked with a swap move with Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo at the beginning of the summer.
When a deal for Ronaldo failed to materialise, Madrid made it clear they were unwilling to sell the Brazilian, although by then Robinho had his heart set on a move away from the capital club.
Ribeiro told Brazilian television programme Joven Pan: “He (Calderon) said that there was no way Robinho would leave the club, that no one would have the money for him.
“Robinho said, ’I do not want to stay. I would rather be a travelling salesman, sell cakes in the fair, than remain at the club’. He told that to Calderon.
“From that point, after he spoke to the president and the press, everyone turned against him.
“He continued to insist that he didn’t want to stay and we thought about going for article 17 [and buying out the rest of his contract].”
Ribeiro added: “He didn’t feel valued at Real Madrid anymore, he felt looked down upon. Why should Real Madrid only try hard to renew his contract after Cristiano Ronaldo said he was not going to leave United?
“Robinho’s pride was hurt and for that reason no amount of money would have made him stay. He said that even if they paid him double he would not renew his contract.”
Robinho’s move to City was made possible after the club accepted a takeover bid by Abu Dhabi United Group on transfer deadline day.
And Ribeiro revealed that the deal hung in the balance until just 75 minutes before the window closed at midnight.
“It was said that Robinho was a Chelsea player, we were celebrating that,” Ribeiro continued. “When we arrived the press asked about Manchester City, I told them no.
“At quarter to 11 at night they asked me ’will Robinho play at Manchester City?’ I responded that he would play anywhere but Real Madrid.
“Meanwhile, [Chelsea chief executive] Peter Kenyon was calling me desperately trying to know what was happening. But I was already certain that Chelsea and Real Madrid would never reach an agreement of more than €40m.
“And it was then that I gave the okay to City.”