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Allardyce keen to keep Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz
Hughes brought Santa Cruz to Blackburn from Bayern Munich in 2007

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has told Manchester City time has run out on their attempt to land Roque Santa Cruz.

Rovers have already rejected a bid of 12m from Manchester City for the 27-year-old striker and were believed to be holding out for a bigger fee.

Allardyce, though, maintains Santa Cruz is staying at Ewood Park, insisting he would have no time to replacement him.

"There isn't the opportunity now to get the quality of striker we need to consider letting Roque move," he said.

Allardyce did admit however, that he could not completely rule out a potential transfer for the Paraguayan, who was signed for a reported 3.5m by City boss Mark Hughes during his time as manager of Rovers in 2007.

"For me, he stays, although I can't put it to bed completely until the deadline has passed.

"It's impossible, from any manager's point of view, to see what happens between now and then."


The feeling remains that Hughes will test the water one more time before the transfer window shuts at 1700 GMT on Monday, while Tottenham are also thought to be considering a bid.

Santa Cruz has been a key player for Rovers since his move from Bayern Munich and underlined his importance to the side by coming off the bench against Bolton on Wednesday to inspire the side to come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

"He came on and changed the dynamics of the game for us by the fact he is a very clever player," said Allardyce.

"He is a massive player for us, as we all know."

Blackburn are currently only one point above the Premier League relegation zone in 17th.

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see also
Man City complete Bellamy signing
19 Jan 09 |  Man City
Man City to build slowly - Hughes
29 Dec 08 |  Man City
Allardyce holds Santa Cruz talks
23 Dec 08 |  Blackburn
Santa Cruz signs new Rovers deal
22 Aug 08 |  Blackburn
Clubs consider transfer options
02 Jan 09 |  Football

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