Hughes joins Hleb race

Mark Hughes has joined the race to take ex-Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb on loan from Barcelona.

The Belarusian spent three seasons at the Gunners before moving to the Nou Camp in 2008.

The new Fulham boss is keen to strengthen his squad and push on from the success of the last campaign, but might have to compete agaisnt rivals West Ham, Sunderland and Aston Villa who are all reportedly interested in Hleb.

Owner Mohamed Al Fayed has set aside a transfer kity of �25 million, but rather than dip into the funds, Hughes is aiming to capture some loan signings, and believes the 29-year-old would add quality to his squad.

A loan move to Stuttgart failed to work out but Hleb is keen to come back to the Premier League where he produced his best form.

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Meanwhile, the Welsh manager is also weighing up a loan move for Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz who is heading for the exit door at Eastlands - a season after moving there from Blackburn for �17.5million.

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