Robinho To Follow The Ex City Turkish Jet Set?
The Turks are after City 'limbo' player De Souza Robinho. If he resists the temptation to accept a late offer from Olympique Lyon, he won't be the first Blue to talk Turkey...
City's record signing will be gone by the end of next week. The Blues hierarchy are grafting away to ensure that as much as possible of the £32.5 million postal order that was sent to Real Madrid on 1st September 2008 is recouped.
Despite a whirlwind start to his City career, the pitches became heavier and the tackles fiercer and the flagship signing of the new era at MCFC proved far too lightweight for the Premier League. He became increasingly difficult for both Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini to handle. Finally, he was loaned home to Santos but now, due to Brazilian financial restraints he finds himself back in Manchester waiting for the green light that says 'Exit' to appear.
Turkish giants Besiktas and Fenerbahce are reported to be going head to head for the Brazilian sprite's signature with initial bids of £15-£20 million respectively. Yet Lyon, determined to re-establish themselves as France's number one club are aiming to scupper the talks which will take place between City and the Turkish clubs.
Yet, if Robinho does head to Turkey with the most likely destination being Besiktas and former Real coach Bernd Schuster, he won't be the first former Blue to head to the land full of eastern promise in recent years.
City side netting fiend Darius Vassell is first out of the starting blocks...
Vass joined City from Aston Ireland, sorry, Villa in July 2005 for £2 million.
He went on to make 110 League and Cup City starts with 14 substitute appearances and scored 22 goals.
He left for Ankaragücü in the Turkish Super League to a heroes welcome in July 2009 as part of the Mark Hughes offload but has been released a year later after 21 appearances and 4 goals. He is reported to be in talks this week with Lids United.
Next in line, Robinho's best friend, Elano. Sven-Goran Eriksson alledgedly YouTubed Elano to City from Shakhtar in July 2007 on a dodgy Shinawatra down payment and during his two years at Eastlands the player lurched from fans favourite to management nightmare and non performer.
Elano made 64 League and Cup City starts with 15 substitute appearances and scored 17 goals.
He left for Galatasaray last year and has notched 3 goals in 25 run outs. Numerous European sides are weighing up bids for the Brazilian attacking midfielder before the month is out.
The most prolific ex City Turkey star was talented French sulk artist turned World Cup mayhem catalyst Nicolas Anelka.
The eight clubbed superstar enjoyed cult status at City for two and a half years following a £13 million transfer from Paris Saint Germain to join Kevin Keegan's exciting side.
Anelka made 101 League and Cup City starts with 2 substitute appearances and smacked in 46 goals.
But it all turned sour for Anelka under an increasingly demoralised Mad Kev in the winter of 2004-2005 and the player effectively went on strike expecting Europe's biggest clubs to come knocking. They didn't, and he headed to Fenerbahce for £7 million.
Robinho is well placed to follow similar erratic footsteps.