Transfer news

Van der Vaart backs Santa Cruz

June 20, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Hamburg's Rafael van der Vaart has backed the mooted arrival of Paraguay international Roque Santa Cruz.

Roque Santa Cruz
EmpicsSanta Cruz is currently a free agent

The former Manchester City striker has recently been linked with a switch to Hamburg, who are looking to bolster their frontline after the €10 million transfer of South Korea international Heung-Min Son to Bayer Leverkusen.

Santa Cruz, 31, is a free agent after his contract at City expired this summer, after struggling to make an impact in Manchester and most recently being loaned out to Malaga.

"Roque Santa Cruz joining us – that would be the bomb," former Tottenham midfielder Van der Vaart told Bild on Thursday. “He would help us with his routine and continue to up the quality of our squad.

“I think the world of Santa Cruz. He’d have what it takes to take us to Europe. He is a killer in front of the goal. Magnificent!”

Hamburg finished the 2012-13 season in seventh, just outside the European places, and found it hard to find the back of net, scoring only 42 goals all season.

Meanwhile, the club are set to announce the signing of the 21-year old FC Basel attacker Jacques Zoua. The Cameroon international will be reunited with his former coach Thorsten Fink.

Bild reports the Hamburg and Zoua have reached an agreement and FC Basel are reportedly willing to let the attacker, who scored only once in 24 games, leave for a transfer fee of around €1.5 million.