Runaway Robinho insists he has permission to return to Brazil - as Manchester City ponder disciplining their £34m man

Robinho insists there is no rift with Manchester City despite leaving the club's Tenerife training camp to return to Brazil.

The 24-year-old insisted he will return in time for the club's next game - against Newcastle on Wednesday week - and is still committed to the Eastlands project.

Robinho claims he had asked permission to return home, but City's executive chairman Garry Cook had earlier suggested that the former Real Madrid player could be in breach of club discipline.


Still happy: Robinho says he is still committed to Manchester City

He headed for Brazil within hours of learning that Kaka would not be staying at AC Milan rather than coming to the Barclays Premier League.

The collapse of the £100million bid to sign Kaka led City to a high-level emergency meeting this morning to discuss their future strategy.

However, Robinho insisted his trip home was not related to his Brazil team-mate's decision.

'I had made Manchester City aware that I needed to return to Brazil because of a family matter,' said Robinho.

'I will return to the club and hope to sort this out as soon as possible. I feel it is important to underline that I did not return to Brazil because of the Kaka deal.

'He is one of my good friends and it would have been great to see him at Manchester City - but it had nothing to do with his decision to stay in Milan.


Fans' favourite: Manchester City supporters have taken to Robinho since his move to Eastlands last summer

'I am committed to helping Manchester City become the force the owners assured me they will become.'

A statement on Robinho's website said he had no intention of leaving City and claimed he had asked the club's permission to return home to 'solve some family problems'.

' He will for sure be playing on Wednesday against Newcastle and, as usual, will give his all to help the club to achieve victory,' said the statement.

'He is very motivated and says he wants to be the League's top scorer. Therefore, while in Brazil with the family, he will be exercising and keeping fit for the upcoming match.

'Robinho was cheering for Kaka and hopes that the club will soon find a replacement as high level as Kaka is.'


No thanks: Kaka won't be waving goodbye to AC Milan

City are yet to clarify the situation over Robinho's absence. There have been suggestions that he had walked out of the training camp following a row over an agreement that he could celebrate his 25th birthday with his family in Brazil. His birthday is on Sunday.

Cook told the BBC this morning: 'I do know Robinho is not at the training centre in Tenerife. If he has left the training ground it is a breach of club discipline. I am waiting for a full debrief.'

Cook led the staff meeting this morning as the club try to learn from the Kaka episode.

City had agreed a fee with Milan but the deal collapsed last night with the Brazilian unimpressed by the way negotiations had been handled.

A meeting with his father Bosco Leite broke up with no financial offer placed in front of the AC Milan attacking midfielder.

City are understood to have been in talks with Milan for weeks about Kaka and Robinho has been in regular contact with his 26-year-old compatriot and the pair held a phone conversation yesterday.

AC Milan fan

Mamma mia! An AC Milan fan celebrates following Kaka's decision to stay at the San Siro

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is bound to be watching developments with interest.

It was widely assumed that Robinho would be joining Chelsea last summer, but plumped for City when the Spanish champions refused to do business with the Stamford Bridge outfit.  

On a personal level, Robinho has been a success, netting 12 goals for his new club - all but one of which have come in the Premier League - and becoming an instant hit with the City faithful.  

However, City's failure to establish themselves in the top half of the table under manager Mark Hughes is bound to be the source of disappointment.