x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Robinho: Transfer talk worrying players

The prospects of an overhaul - and the impending axe - may have several Manchester City players struggling for consistency.

The prospects of an overhaul - and the impending axe - may have several Manchester City players struggling for consistency. With the manager Mark Hughes preparing to splash the club's considerable cash when the transfer window opens tomorrow, many players in the dressing room are left to wonder how much longer they may be at the club with high-priced replacements said to be on the way.

That, according to Robinho, could explain why such a talented squad have found themselves in a relegation battle in recent weeks. "One theory I have [about City's inconsistency] is that the constant rumours about possible reinforcements in January have damaged us in some way. "Some of my mates do perhaps fear for their future and that is not positive, I guess. But there is nothing we can do about that apart from try not to let it affect us."

Robinho's injury-time equaliser rescued a point for City against Blackburn on Sunday, avoiding an 11th season loss for a club only two points above the drop zone. Meanwhile, Chelsea's Didier Drogba has revealed he became disillusioned with football over the summer. Drogba had a troubled end to last season and was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, while he was criticised by fans for not trying hard enough.

Drogba admits he started to lose interest in the sport. "This summer, I didn't have a head for football anymore. I had completely lost my fire," he said. "I didn't want to hear talk of objectives or ambition anymore. I felt completely extinguished. For the first time in my career, I lost my passion for football." Matters have not improved much for Drogba this season. He has struggled with injury and disciplinary issues and has been forced to play second fiddle to Nicolas Anelka. Drogba insists he is happy to bide his time. "For the moment, I just have to keep quiet," he said.

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