Mark Hughes has conceded that Brazil star Robinho was "apprehensive" about swapping Real Madrid for Manchester City.

Eyebrows were raised when City, bankrolled by an influx of cash from their new Abu Dhabi-based owners, outflanked Chelsea on transfer deadline day to secure the 24-year-old's signature. And Hughes has admitted the club had to sell themselves to the player to persuade him to join a side who finished ninth - seven places below the Stamford Bridge club - last term.

"The move happened very quickly for him," said Hughes. "The key to it was he was determined to leave Real Madrid. But I don't think it was a case of being convenient."

He added: "We pitched to him, we said 'listen, this is where we need to go and we're going to bring in good players. We already have good players at our club and they will help you perform to a high standard'.

"Initially he showed signs of being apprehensive about the situation he found himself in but he's had great support from his Brazil colleagues here - Elano, Jo and Glauber Berti.

"That apprehension went very, very quickly."

And the former Blackburn and Wales boss believes Robinho is now set to enjoy a fine career with City, where he will get the adulation he lacked at the Bernabeu.

"When he was at Madrid he wanted to play every week and felt he wasn't getting that chance. Maybe he felt he wasn't going to be loved as much as, obviously, he is here."

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