But Zabaleta told The Sun: "I think it's vital that Robinho stays with Man City. He is a player who can give us more quality and he means a lot to his team-mates.
"There is no problem with him or with the other players."
Robinho had an encouraging if unspectacular first season with City. He managed a respectable total of 15 goals but Zabaleta is expecting more if his pal can stay injury-free for the rest of the campaign.
Zab added: "I think he can do even better. Naturally, you always expect more from a player like him because there's a reason why he cost more than £30m.
"But I hope we can enjoy having him with us for a long time. The truth is, we will achieve our goals faster as a club with players like Robinho here."