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Calderon: Robinho can buy out contract

23 August 2008-PA Sport

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has hinted wantaway forward Robinho will have to buy himself out of his contract to facilitate a move to Chelsea.


The 24-year-old has made no secret of his desire to link up with compatriot Luiz Felipe Scolari at Stamford Bridge, and the Spanish champions have issued a statement insisting they will not keep the player against his wishes.

Calderon has now told the Brazil international to hand in a written transfer request if he wants to leave, but vowed the club will not sell the player - suggesting he will have to buy out his contract to gain his freedom.

"No player will be kept here against their will. This does not mean that Madrid will not defend the interests of the club," said Calderon in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

"I'm sure that Robinho has already weighed up the consequences of his decision and I'm sure that in the next few days he will give a letter to the club to announce that he wants to go. If he does not want to be here, he should leave as soon as possible."

Calderon hinted Robinho would not necessarily have to stump up the full 150million euros ($A254.7m) buyout fee, however.

"I can tell you that Madrid are not going to transfer Robinho. We are not going to sell him. If he wants to go, then he should go now. Telling the press about it is not the right way to do things," he said.

"It's not necessarily that he will have to pay the 150 million euros. He would end his contract but the courts will decide what he has to pay."

Calderon reiterated that he would be looking out solely for the best interests of the capital club.

"Slavery has been abolished for some time," added the Madrid president, echoing comments he made earlier this summer when the club were chasing Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Nobody is obliged to stay here, but we will defend our interests.

"This is what we announced publicly on our webpage. He should leave as soon as possible, but he must accept the consequences of rescinding his contract when it has two years remaining.

"I hear that we wants to go, well he will have to give notice in writing."

When asked if they would sell if Chelsea offered 40 or 50 million euros, Calderon said: "No, because the transfers need to be done at the end of the competition, not five days before the start of the season. It's a lack of respect to the club, it's history and to the fans. We want Robinho to stay in Madrid.

"Right now, with this situation we cannot do anything. To take a decision like that in life you have to abide by the consequences."

Robinho has long been linked with an exit from the Spanish capital, with the player's agent Wagner Ribeiro suggesting the South American was unhappy with Madrid for the way he feels he has been treated.

There had been a notable absence of comment from Robinho himself until Friday, and that has incurred the ire of Calderon who feels it gives Madrid no time to find a replacement with the start of the Primera Liga season just a week away.

"It's not the moment to say that he wants to leave, this is in May. But he will have weighed up the consequences.

"If he doesn't want to play, he won't play, but this is his problem. I'm going to defend our interests."

Calderon insisted the door was not closed for Robinho to continue at the club though, providing the former Santos man clarified his comments about wanting to leave.

"If he says tomorrow that no, he doesn't want to go, that he was only raising the idea, then we can talk. Madrid respect his decision and nobody can work where they don't want to," he added.

Calderon was also asked about the likelihood of bringing in any new faces should Robinho no longer be available.

The club have been linked in the Spanish press with the likes of Klaas Jan Huntelaar, David Villa, Karim Benzema and Diego Milito, and Calderon insists the decisions on any arrivals would be down to sporting director Predrag Mijatovic and coach Bernd Schuster.

"We are not thinking about this possibility at the moment, but we are going to weigh it up," Calderon said.

"If Robinho confirms that we will not continue we will contemplate this possibility, but I am not the one who decides that. Up until now the team have done very well and the work of Mijatovic and Schuster has been very good.

"They will have answers to this problem if it is really a problem. If the coach calls on him (Robinho) and wants him to play, he will have to do so."

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