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Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 11:01 UK

Man City fail in Santa Cruz bid

Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz was Blackburn's top scorer last season

Blackburn say they have rejected an undisclosed bid from Manchester City for striker Roque Santa Cruz.

The 26-year-old Paraguay international scored 23 goals last season and has also been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal.

"A bid came in and it was immediately rejected," said a Blackburn statement.

"Manchester City officials have been advised that the player would not be for sale and we are very disappointed they have continued their interest."

City boss Mark Hughes signed Santa Cruz from Bayern Munich year ago for around 3.5m, and it is thought he offered nearer 12m to try to lure him to Eastlands.

Hughes' plans for the new season suffered a blow on Tuesday when Darius Vassell was ruled out for 10 weeks with a knee injury.

With Jo, Benjani Mwaruwari and Valeri Bojinov also all missing, City could be forced to field teenagers Daniel Sturridge and Ched Evans in Saturday's Premier League opener against Aston Villa.

Hughes insisted the bid for Santa Cruz demonstrated the club had the funds to spend before the transfer window closes.

"I think what the bid does show is that the club is in decent shape financially and that we were able to make a bid of that significance," said Hughes, speaking after City's surprise home defeat by FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Cup.

"Maybe the stories of the financial crisis flying around are not as substantiated as they should be."

see also
Injured Vassell out for 10 weeks
13 Aug 08 |  Man City
Lawro's Premier League guide
12 Aug 08 |  Premier League
Santa Cruz's brother joins Rovers
06 Aug 08 |  Blackburn
Santa Cruz keen to stay at Rovers
14 Jul 08 |  Blackburn
Ince to decide on pair - chairman
24 Jun 08 |  Blackburn
Rovers impact delights Santa Cruz
29 Apr 08 |  Blackburn
Santa Cruz seals Blackburn move
28 Jul 07 |  Blackburn

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