Former Manchester City and AC Milan striker signed for Atletico Mineiro in February 2016.
The 32-year old had previously been linked with a return to Brazil since his short-term contract with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande expired in February 2016.
Atletico Mineiro immediately made it publicly known that they intended to sign the Brazil international as they planned to strengthen their squad for the Copa Libertadores campaign. They faced stiff competition to sign the player with his former club, Santos also trying to lure him back for a fourth spell with the club.
Robinho was given a week by Galo to decide on whether to accept or reject the contract. He reportedly turned down an offer of R$ 600,000 per month to rejoin his former club Santos. He chose to accept the R$ 800,000 per month offered to him by Atletico Mineiro instead.
Part of Robinho’s salary has been paid by Dryworld, a Canadian brand who sponsors the club and supply sports equipment.
Club President Daniel Nepomuceno, quickly took to twitter to announce the deal confirming that Robinho had joined the club on a two – year deal.
The former Brazil international,Robinho was reportedly offered to the English Premier League Champions Leicester City in the final days of the transfer window in January, but the football club was not encouraged due to the forward’s high wage demand.
He became a free agent after having his contract with Chinese champions, Guangzhou Evergrande finished. The 32-year old forward is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League where he left in 2010. The Daily Mail reported that both the Swansea City and Leicester City were contacted if a deal could be sealed on the striker.
Swansea City who were struggling not to be relegated last season were unlikely to significantly increase their wage bill in case they ended up in the Championship while The Foxes, while riding high in the table with narrow winnings, were not ready to tamper with their wage structure as manager Claudio Ranieri remains grounded amid the possibility of getting the English Premier League which they ultimately did even before the last match of the league.
The Fox, rather, went for Daniel Amartey and Demarai Gray from FC Copenhagen and Birmingham respectively in a combined £8m outlay, with ZoumanaBakayogo, AlieSesay and Harry Panayiotou, NgoloKante, Andrej Kramaric and Tom Lawrence all offloaded to different clubs.
Robinho, who started his career with Santos, visited his former team after their game against Atletico Mineiro.
Robinho was rested for this game by Atletico’s coach as he feels that the forward player needed a breather.
Robinho, who enjoyed a cult status at Santos, spent around 15 minutes in the lockers as he greeted and talked with everyone. The match ended with a defeat for Santos at the hands of Robinho’s current club, and the latter was keen to encourage his former teammates.
Robinho met with his close friend Gabriel Barbosa, who currently play for Santos. They both were quite close before Robinho left the club for Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. Barbosa joked that they wanted him to play on their side if they wanted to have a chance to beat Atletico Mineiro. He added that he was really pleased to see Robinho and that even if they play for different clubs, they have a strong friendship.
Robinho came back to Santos after leaving Milan in 2014 and stayed for one year. He managed to make 41 appearances for them and scored 17 goals during the process. In 2015, he will sign a short-term deal with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande where he will manage to make 11 appearances for them and scored 3 goals.
AC Milan striker Robinho has said that he is extremely excited about the prospect of returning to the Brazilian club Santos one day. Robinho began his career with the Brazilian club in very much the same way as football legend Pele. Even though he was regarded to be one of the best talents when he was coming through the youth academy at Santos, his career has not progressed in the same way he would like to do in the last few seasons. There has been the disappointment of his poor spell with Manchester City, although he seems to be recovering from that at the San Siro.
Despite this, there has been talk of him joining Santos once again. He has refused to rule out the possibility of a move, but has also acknowledged that he does not see it happening any time soon. The 28-year-old striker is still in his prime, which means that Italian club AC Milan are likely to sell him for a low transfer fee. Along with Robinho, former Juventus midfielder Diego has also been quick to express his desire to return to Santos. The former Werder Bremen midfielder is also looking to resume his Wolfsburg career, which has come to a stall in recent seasons.
“I intend to return to Brazil one day but I have two years left on my contract at Wolfsburg. I am feeling very well in Europe. I’ve played in different leagues and each of them had its own peculiarity but I’m happy with things there [in Europe]. I really want to return to Santos, I am a Santos supporter and I would like to play there again one day,” said Diego. “I don’t know about the possibility of returning to Brazil. I have a great relationship with Santos. I like Vila Belmiro a lot. I hope to return one day, but I don’t know if it will be now or in the future. But I’ll return one day,” said Robinho.