Manchester City have said goodbye to Robinho, knowing it is almost certain their record signing will never return to Eastlands.
In a statement City effectively declared their ambitious £32.5million investment in the temperamental forward a failure by allowing him to join former club Santos on loan until August.
It ends a turbulent 18 months at Eastlands for the 25-year-old.
Robinho has never given any impression of being comfortable in Manchester since he joined in a staggering British record deal in August 2008.
And, given his recent criticism of Roberto Mancini — who left him out of Wednesday night's squad for the Carling Cup semi-final defeat at Old Trafford at the player's own request — it is improbable he will return if the Italian is still at the helm next season, even though Mancini has talked optimistically of the player returning to the Blues next term.
“Robinho is someone who needs to be playing regularly and we wish him well for the period of his loan,” said Mancini.
While the finishing touches were applied to the Robinho deal, City expressed an interest in Middlesbrough's Adam Johnson.