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2 September 2008

Scolari's Robinho Rage

The Blues had been odds-on to land the Brazilian superstar after he declared his desire to leave Real Madrid sign on at Stamford Bridge.

Los Merengues had accepted a £28.4million bid and the deal was all but complete when Chelsea's impatience effectively scuppered the transaction.

The London giants jumped the gun to disastrous effect when they began selling shirts emblazoned with Robinho's name through their online shop last week.

That was enough to tip the Spanish champions over the edge in what was already a tense negotiation process, and the initial deal fell through.

Scolari made no secret of his admiration for Robinho and singled out the 24-year-old as the one player he hoped to sign this summer after landing Deco from Barcelona.

The former Brazil coach attempted to play it cool, insisting it made no difference if he captured the ex-Santos prodigy or not, but Chelsea sources suggest otherwise.

“He is too professional to make a fuss but this is a blow,”  an insider told The Sun.

Further fuelling Scolari's wrath is the fact Chelsea turned down the opportunity to land Robinho on deadline day.

Los Blancos had accepted a bid of £32.5million from newly cashed-up City and challenged the Blues to match it - but the Premier League powerhouses were not willing to stump up the extra £4million.

Hence, the Selecao star made his may to Eastlands instead in an English record transfer, while Scolari was left demanding answers from chief executive Peter Kenyon and owner Roman Abramovich.

The source added: “It’s no secret that Chelsea has paid a lot of money for players in the last few years.

“Some of those players have been successful and others not so.

“Felipe understands the budget has a limit but feels that he did not ask too much of the club.

“He bought Deco for £8million and made it clear how important Robinho was to his plans for the season.

“So he is entitled to feel let down that the club would not increase its offer by £4m to get the player.”

Cecil Braun