Chelsea offer £20m for Robinho in bid to bolster strike force

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The Independent Football

Chelsea confirmed last night that they have made Real Madrid an offer for Robinho. The Stamford Bridge club's pursuit of the Brazilian has been well documented this summer and they are believed to have tabled a bid in the region of £20m. Peter Kenyon, Chelsea's chief executive, revealed last month that the two clubs had begun negotiations over the 24-year-old and Robinho's agent, Wagner Ribeiro, attended a series of meetings in London where it was reported personal terms on a five-year contract had been agreed.

Real have been reluctant to let Robinho go until they had added to their squad and with Rafeal van der Vaart arriving from Hamburg earlier this week that may open the way for Robinho to leave. Robinho, who joined Real Madrid from Santos in 2005, has made no secret of his desire to join Chelsea, and the attraction appears mutual – Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has described his compatriot, who has already won 50 caps, as one of the game's "great players". His arrival is likely to prove the third and final addition to Scolari's squad after Deco and Jose Bosingwa.

"It would be a dream for me to work with Luiz Felipe Scolari, who is one of the best coaches in the world," Robinho said earlier in the summer. "I have always spoken highly of him and he has always spoken very highly of me, since well before he was at Chelsea. In 2003, when I was unknown in Europe, he called me to play in a charity match. It was brief but it was enough for me to see his style and character."

Scolari, who took over as coach last month, is in desperate need of a striker as he prepares for the opening Premier League game of the season at home to Portsmouth on 17 August. Didier Drogba will miss the opening two games of the campaign because of a knee injury while fellow Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou is on Olympic duty in Beijing. That leaves Chelsea with only Nicolas Anelka, Andriy Shevchenko and out-of-favour Claudio Pizarro to call upon in attack.