Robinho heads to Sivasspor despite rape conviction
Brazil forward Robinho is set to join Turkish Super Lig side Sivasspor, the club said on Monday, despite his sentencing in absentia to nine years in prison in Italy for gang rape.
Sivasspor, based in the city of Sivas in central Anatolia, said that an agreement with the former AC Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester City player had been reached “in principle” and the signing would take place after final discussions.
The Fanatik sports daily quoted club manager Samet Aybaba as saying that a one-and-a-half-year deal had been agreed and the final details were being thrashed out.
Robinho, 33, has won 100 caps for Brazil and played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
He had spent the last two seasons at Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro.
But he was found guilty in absentia by an Italian court in November of raping a 22-year-old Albanian woman in January 2013, when the Brazilian was playing for Milan in Serie A.
Robinho has insisted he is innocent. The sentence is suspended while appeals take place.
He was one of the first big-money signings at Manchester City, joining for £32.5 million (40 million euros at the rates of the time) on the day the English Premier League club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group. But his two seasons at the club were a disappointment.
Sivasspor are currently eighth in the Super Lig after a strong first half of the season.