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Mancini Backs Out Of Sorts Robinho

City boss Roberto Mancini has backed his Robinho, claiming he still has a future at the club despite substituting the star in the 62nd minute.

The Brazilian replaced Roque Santa Cruz after just nine minutes of play but was embarrassingly replaced himself by Shaun Wright-Phillips. “Is it the end of the line for Robinho? No,” explains Mancini who experienced defeat for the first time as City manager. “Like everyone in the squad, he needs to work hard and play well.”

Robinho joined the blues from Real Madrid in a British transfer record deal worth £32.5m and, despite putting in some excellent performance at Eastlands, has struggled to find any form away from home.

The Brazilian has not scored since May 2009 and injury forced him to miss some of City’s early season matches. Barcelona were reportedly in the hunt for his signature and were rumoured to be making a bid for him during the January transfer window, but their interest has now cooled considerably.

In December, Robinho pledged his commitment to the blues, stating that the ‘fans love he and he loves the fans.’ How much more the supporters continue to support remains to be seen and the Brazilian’s future looks more unclear this morning as reports suggest the City are favourites to land Chelsea winger Joe Cole. The England star is out of contract at Stamford Bridge in the summer and City’s superior financial muscle could prove enough to tempt Cole to Eastlands ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, who are also in the hunt for his signature.

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