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Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Friday, 29 October 2010 20:15 UK

Roque Santa Cruz set to leave Man City in January

Roque Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz has scored only four goals for City in 23 matches

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says Roque Santa Cruz is free to leave the club in January, while Fulham have already expressed an interest.

The 29-year-old Paraguayan striker, who arrived from Blackburn in 2009, has played only once this season.

"I hope for him that he can go to play for another team, because he deserves this," said Mancini.

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Mark Hughes said: "I'm interested in players of the quality of Roque."

Hughes, who worked with Santa Cruz both at City and Blackburn, failed in an attempt to sign him on loan during the summer.


"My interest in him before was there for everybody to see," said Hughes, who was replaced by Mancini at Eastlands last December.

"Whether we pursue that in January is open to debate. I'm not aware that he's available. That might change.

"This time in the transfer window we want to target players quite early so that we are ready to flick the switch when the window opens."

Santa Cruz scored 23 goals in 57 matches for Blackburn before joining City last summer.

However, injuries and stiff competition for places have hampered his progress and he has scored only four goals in 23 appearances for the club.

Mancini added: "Roque is a fantastic man and a good player, but he knows the situation here.

"I am very sorry for him because he deserves to play every game, because he works very well. But it is difficult at the moment."

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see also
Tevez ruled out for two matches
29 Oct 10 |  Man City
New Santa Cruz blow for Man City
18 Jan 10 |  Man City
Man City complete Santa Cruz deal
22 Jun 09 |  Man City

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