Rovers to offload 'underhand' Santa Cruz

BLACKBURN are ready to offload want-away striker Roque Santa Cruz. (The Sun)They turned down a �17million bid from Manchester City in January but may now accept a player in part exchange.

BLACKBURN are ready to offload want-away striker Roque Santa Cruz. (The Sun)

They turned down a �17million bid from Manchester City in January but may now accept a player in part exchange.

The Paraguayan's second season in English football has been wrecked by injury and he has been out since March with a knee problem.

Blackburn have grown increasingly tired of Santa Cruz's tactics in trying to engineer a move away from Ewood Park.


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He has given several interviews to a South American radio station expressing his wish to leave - only to claim it was not him.

Rovers boss Sam Allardyce said: “He has become a little bit underhand. These kind of remarks always sneak out where we cannot control the situation. It has happened too many times for it not to be him and is disappointing.”

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Despite his injury problems, Rovers still believe they can command a sizeable fee for the former Bayern Munich man who signed a new deal at the start of the season.

That contains a �20m release clause but Rovers accept they are unlikely to get that for a player who has scored only six times this term.

Manchester City are still interested though manager Mark Hughes - who signed him for Rovers two years ago - has other options.

But the prospect of luring him in a player-plus-cash deal is something that may appeal to Sparky who has unwanted strikers on his books.

Daniel Sturridge, 19, interested Rovers in January but City were not interested as they still hoped he would sign a new contract.

Now a move is on again as Sturridge has refused to sign as he wants �65,000 a week, �30,000 more than City will pay.

Meanwhile, City will press ahead with an �18million deal for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan - despite claims by chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak that the club's wealthy Arab owners are not planning to 'splash money around' in the transfer market this summer.

Forlan, 30, has revived his career in Spain, first at Villarreal and then Atletico, following a disappointing two-and-a-half-year spell at Manchester United.

Atletico value him at �25m but City have already held talks with the Uruguay striker's advisers and are hopeful of signing him for significantly less.

The deal would cast further doubt over their plans to make a fresh bid for Blackburn's Roque Santa Cruz, although more big signings are expected.

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