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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 17:23 UK

Santa Cruz labelled 'underhand'

Roque Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz has scored 29 goals for Blackburn

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has accused Roque Santa Cruz of "underhand" tactics as the Paraguay striker tries to engineer a move away from the club.

Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been linked with the 27-year-old, who reiterated his desire to leave the club on Paraguayan radio this week.

"He has become a little bit underhand. These remarks sneak out where we cannot control the situation," said Allardyce.

"It has happened too many times for it not to be him and it's disappointing."

After joining from Bundesliga side Bayern Munich for £3.8m in 2007, Santa Cruz has gone on to make 70 appearances for Rovers, scoring 29 goals.

But he has scored just six goals this season in a disjointed campaign, with a knee injury keeping him on the sidelines for the last two months and Allardyce feels his player should be focused only on his recovery.

"Roque should concentrate on getting himself fit and playing his football for Blackburn Rovers," Allardyce told BBC Radio Lancashire.

606: DEBATE
Ben Coops

"It shouldn't be about where his future lies because without his fitness and without his capabilities of producing more than he did last season then he will struggle to get the sort of move he's looking for."

Allardyce also believes Santa Cruz's relationship with the supporters will sour if he continues to ask for a move.

"I've always got on with him extremely well, but fans will always take a dim view on players who openly say that they want to leave. I understand that, but we'll just have to wait and see," he added.

"The time here has been unfortunate for him and for me that he hasn't been fitter because he is a terrific player."



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