Barcelona deny further moves for Robinho

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The Independent Football

Barcelona have not approached Manchester City about their forward Robinho since the summer, according to the European champions' sporting director Txiki Begiristain.

The City manager Mark Hughes denied recent talk of a possible deal between the two teams for the Brazilian, saying he was "not in the process of taking outstanding players out of the team".

Begiristain said: "Robinho is an interesting player who we asked about in the summer. But City would not talk about a transfer and since then we have not made any move."

Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, knows life has become much harder for them in Group F following their Champions League defeat by Rubin Kazan on Tuesday – but he had few complaints about his side's performance despite the 2-1 defeat.

Barça had not suffered a defeat in Europe since last December when, having already qualified for the last 16, a much-weakened side were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk, but that run came to an end on Tuesday against a hard-working Rubin side.

The result has made things extremely tight in Group F, with Barça now level on four points with Rubin and Dynamo Kiev, while Internazionale are only one point further back, and with two of their final three games involving difficult winter trips to Ukraine and Russia, Guardiola knows his team have a fight on their hands to progress. He said: "The group has become very tight, and we all have a chance to get through to the last 16. Now we will try and get a good result in Russia. We are going to fight."

Guardiola could find little to criticise his side for during the reverse against Rubin, though.Barça fell behind inside the opening two minutes through Alexander Ryazantsev's long-range piledriver, but the home side drew level through Zlatan Ibrahimovic just after half-time and had plenty of chances to add more goals only to be denied by a mixture of poor finishing, good goalkeeping by Sergei Ryzhikov and bad luck.

The hosts were then hit with a sucker-punch in the 73rd minute when Rubin broke away to score what would prove to be the winning goal through Gokdeniz Karadeniz.

"Football is like that," said a phleggmatic Guardiola. "With the statistics that we had, in any other sport we would have won, but not in football. I honestly think that we had a good game, but results do not always show that."