AC Milan have reportedly been looking to offload out-of-favour forward Robinho since the start of the summer transfer window, and on Thursday they got their wish, agreeing a transfer with Santos. The Brazilian club announced the deal on Twitter:
The news ends a four-year stay for the Brazil international, who has never truly lived up to his potential since his early days at Real Madrid.
The former child prodigy from Brazil was never a hugely popular figure in the Italian fashion capital, and as reported by the club's official website, Adriano Galliani recently confirmed the Rossoneri were looking for several offers from interested teams:
We are waiting for other offers for Robinho, we'll see. Talks are ongoing and there is an offer from Orlando but we are far away from concluding, our requests are a long way from their offer. I don't think anything will happen with Orlando City. Not necessarily Robinho will follow in the footsteps of Kakà, things could move in another direction. WE cannot do anything for Cerci until Robinho leaves, if and when he leaves then we will think about it.
Robinho moved to Milan in 2010 after failed stints with Madrid and Manchester City, and while his first few months with the Rossoneri were promising, he quickly regressed to the form that saw him dismissed in Spain and England.
The versatile attacker started his career with Santos and showed tremendous potential as a youngster, prompting massive interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Real Madrid secured his signature in 2005, but the transfer never paid off for Los Blancos.
Seen as one of the world's best up-and-coming attackers when he made the move to Europe, the Brazilian only scored double-digit goals in a league campaign once during his career in Europe—his first season with Milan, per WhoScored.com.
A superstar in his native Brazil, football always came easy to Robinho. The now 30-year-old was often criticised for having a poor work ethic and being too weak to make it at the very top, both physically and mentally.
Milan are in their first year under new manager Pippo Inzaghi, and following a disappointing Serie A finish last season and a rocky start to pre-season, the Rossoneri are desperate for reinforcements.
The club's "sell-before-buy" policy means they were unwilling to make any moves before selling Robinho, and his departure now opens up a slot for an extra attacking option Inzaghi feels comfortable working with.
That player could be Torino's Alessio Cerci, who according to Galliani fits Inzaghi's profile, as shared by Gianlucadimarzio's Enrico Passarella:
Milan likely gave Robinho his last shot to salvage his career at the very highest level, but the move seemed doomed from the beginning. He never gave any indication that he was ready to turn the corner during his years at Real, City or with Milan, effectively putting an end to all the potential fans once adored.
Robinho can still be an effective player, and his new club will certainly hope he can recapture some of that old scoring magic. But at this point in his career, teams are paying for his name as much as his skills. The skillful technician that inspired millions during his time at Santos is long gone.