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Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 17:44 UK

Santa Cruz signs new Rovers deal

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

Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz has committed himself to the club by signing a new four-year deal.

The Paraguay international had been the subject of a bid from Manchester City and has also been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal.

But the 27-year-old's decision to stay at Ewood Park until 2012 is a major boost to new Rovers boss Paul Ince.

The striker scored 23 goals in all competitions last season after moving to Blackburn from Bayern Munich.

"Blackburn Rovers are delighted to announce that Roque Santa Cruz has signed a new four-year contract with the club, running through until 2012," said a statement on Blackburn's website.

Benni McCarthy has also been linked with a move away from Ewood Park and midfielder David Dunn stressed they could not afford to lose either player.


He told BBC Radio Lancashire earlier on Friday: "As a Blackburn fan, it would be a tragedy if they left.

"Roque is a tremendous player as is Benni and we're a club that's trying to achieve things ourselves.

"You could bid 30m for Roque and I'm sure they still wouldn't let him go in my opinion."

Referring to recent departures from Ewood Park, he added: "You couldn't let Brad Friedel, David Bentley and Santa Cruz go in the same season.

"There is no way the club would let that happen."

Dunn, 28, scored Rovers's first goal of the Premier League season at Everton during the 3-2 win and says he is looking to improve his goal tally after scoring just once last season.

"I always try to get 10 a season from open play," he said.

"I feel if I am fit and playing week in, week out then that's something I can achieve."

see also
Everton 2-3 Blackburn
16 Aug 08 |  Premier League
Blackburn deny player unrest jibe
15 Aug 08 |  Blackburn
Man City fail in Santa Cruz bid
14 Aug 08 |  Blackburn
Santa Cruz keen to stay at Rovers
14 Jul 08 |  Blackburn
Dunn chooses Rovers over Bolton
17 Jan 07 |  Birmingham

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