Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chelsea boss denies Robinho rift

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has denied claims he was angry with the way the Robnho transfer saga was handled - and has warned fans not to believe unofficial "sources" who claim to know how his mind works.

It was claimed yesterday Scolari was left feeling "angry and let down" because Chelsea would not offer Real Madrid any more than £28.4million for Robinho, who eventually moved to Man City for £32.4million.

But those claims were made by "sources," rather than the big man himself, and Scolari how now officially debunked the talk. Apparently, he has no worries about missing out on the player and believes Robinho was surrounded by people who were not "serious about him coming to Chelsea" - but instead were "more interested in the best business deal". A Chelsea manager accusing a player of going elsewhere for more cash? It has been a few years since that excuse was last used.

Scolari told his club's official website: "I have seen the newspapers and that they say I am unhappy or angry with the club. These statements are not true at all. I have not said this and I do not think this. I am very happy with this situation. I talk to only a few people about my team, all inside the club. Other people have been quoted in newspapers saying they know what I think or feel, but they do not know. Only my close team knows.

"I have a press office at Chelsea and I hold a press conference every week. I do interviews for Chelsea TV and say things for the Chelsea website and my own website. If it does not come from one of these places, it will not be true, and will not be what I think."

He certainly protests well! But, assuming all of the talk in the press yesterday was pure tittle-tattle, is the claim Robinho's "people" were after as much money as possible a reasonable one. It seems unlikely as, unless they were psychic, how would they have known a middle-ranking English team like Man City would suddenly have come into money?

It seems a poor excuse, but the real danger will start in January and next summer if Roman Abramovich decides to start throwing cash around all over the place to try regain the initiative. And, sadly, that is more likely to happen than not.