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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 17:51 UK

Man City complete Santa Cruz deal

Roque Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz has been a long-term target for City boss Mark Hughes

Manchester City have signed Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn on a four-year deal after the striker passed a medical.

The 27-year-old was under contract with Blackburn until 2012 but had a buy-out clause in his contract for £18m.

Santa Cruz will link up once more with manager Mark Hughes, who bought him from Bayern Munich when he was in charge at Blackburn two years ago.

The Paraguayan said: "It's been close to happening for a while. Now I can focus on doing my best for the club."

He scored 23 goals in his first season at Blackburn, but injury stalled his progress in the 2008-09 campaign.

Santa Cruz, who scored just six goals last season, signed a four-year contract extension at Ewood Park last summer.

But he became a target for City after their takeover by the Abu Dhabi United group, with a series of offers rejected in the January transfer window.


Santa Cruz told the club's website: "The owners want the club to be more successful. They want to break into the top four, and the fact that the fans are so passionate about everything to do with City was also a factor. I am very motivated to play for these fans.

"I know the kind of football Mark Hughes wants to play and the kind of character he is - he's a winner, he wants to make things happen and be successful.

"Those are always my thoughts as well, so knowing what he wants was a big factor in coming here, because I know the club is going in the right direction."

Hughes said that Santa Cruz would be a key addition to his squad. He added: "His ability in the air and his physical presence are qualities we've been missing, but he also has technical ability and good pace for a big man.

"He's a very good player and one I know well from our time at Blackburn."

The deal is City's second signing of the summer, following Gareth Barry's £12m move from Aston Villa.

After joining from Bundesliga side Bayern Munich for £3.8m in 2007, Santa Cruz went on to make 70 appearances for Rovers.

But he only played 16 times last season in a disjointed campaign, with a knee problem keeping him on the sidelines for the last two months.

Santa Cruz could make a swift return to Ewood Park, with City's first game of the new season at Blackburn.

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see also
Villa form prompted exit - Barry
11 Jun 09 |  Man City
Man City snap up Barry for 12m
02 Jun 09 |  Man City
Santa Cruz labelled 'underhand'
15 May 09 |  Blackburn
Santa Cruz undergoes knee surgery
15 Apr 09 |  Blackburn
Allardyce holds Santa Cruz talks
23 Dec 08 |  Blackburn
Santa Cruz seals Blackburn move
28 Jul 07 |  Blackburn

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