Roque Santa Cruz rejoins Hughes at Man City

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

It has been a lengthy transfer saga. Ever since Mark Hughes left Blackburn Rovers to join the Manchester City revolution, Paraguayian striker Roque Santa Cruz has been regularly linked with a move up north.

It transpired that Hughes had highlighted Cruz as one of his main targets since his arrival at the Eastlands, but it has taken the best part of a year for Sparky to finally get his man.

Cruz was a revelation in his debut season in English football. Signed by the Welshman for effectively a pittance of the fee he now commands, it was a shrewd signing by Hughes.

He spent eight largely disappointing years at Bayern Munich. Scoring 31 goals in 155 appearances. He failed to cement his place in the squad while he frequently suffered from niggling injuries.

So at the start of the 2007-08 season, the 27-year-old was picked up by Blackburn for £3.5 million. He soon became an instant hit at Ewood Park.

His first season saw him make 43 appearances managing an impressive 23 goals. It was enough to earn him a new four-year contract, in the process attempting to quash any approaches from other clubs.

Yet his 2008/09 campaign was a tale more similar to his days in Germany. He spent most of the season on the sidelines struggling to overcome injuries, scoring a mere six goals in all competitions.

Maybe his mind had already strayed to thought of a big-money move to the ridiculously rich Manchester City. And rumours circulated that he had a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave the club should his asserted valuation, believed to be in the region of £18 million, be matched.

With the sporting pages plagued with speculation of Cruz moving to City or even Arsenal, it seemed inevitable that this summer he would be moving on.

Subsequently it has come as no surprise as the news was broken today that the Paraguay international will be joining Robinho and company for pre-season training at Eastlands.

The fee is believed to be around £17 million and it marks the second signing of the summer for Manchester City as they prepare to completely revamp their squad.


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