Robinho loan talks confirmed

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed negotiations have begun with Santos and Sao Paulo over a Robinho loan deal.

But the Brazilian will only be allowed to leave Eastlands if City are happy with the terms of the deal.

Mancini also revealed that the Brazilian is in his City squad for tomorrow night's Carling Cup semi-final second leg clash with arch-rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Robinho scored for City in their 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round win at Scunthorpe on Sunday.

"It is possible that something could happen," confirmed Mancini. "This kind of thing does happen. I know in Italy there were instances when clubs paid a lot of money for a fantastic player but afterwards he needed to play at another club. Negotiations are happening but for now he is part of my squad."

Although Robinho has shown flashes of brilliance and remains a favourite among the City faithful, he was unsettled for most of the second half of last season and quit a training camp in Tenerife to return home to Brazil after initially being refused permission by then manager Mark Hughes.

The subsequent sale of close friend Elano to Galatasaray and the exit of Jo for an ultimately ill-fated loan experiment at Everton isolated the 25-year-old even further.

To make matters worse, Robinho has been totally overshadowed by Craig Bellamy in the battle for the left-sided midfield spot that the South American prefers.

With a FIFA World Cup™ looming and no guarantee of a place with the Blues, Robinho has been frantically searching for a solution.

"The World Cup in June is a big problem for him," said Mancini. "He wants to play for the national team. I understand that but I must decide what is best for the team. I have five or six strikers to choose from, which makes it difficult for him and me."

However, City are adamant their British record signing will not be allowed to leave unless all the player's wages are taken care of, something that has ruled Benfica out of the running.