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."
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