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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Blackburn working on Santa Cruz return

Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Blackburn Rovers are in negotiations with Manchester City about bringing Eastlands outcast Roque Santa Cruz back to Ewood Park.

• Blackburn confirm Ronaldinho interest
• Blackburn dismiss Ronaldinho talk
• The race for Ronaldinho
• Blog: Transfer deals to define Rovers

Santa Cruz enjoyed a hugely successful two-year spell at Blackburn, scoring 23 goals in 57 Premier League games, before moving onto City in a £17 million deal in June 2009.

The Paraguayan marksman struggled to make an impact in his first season in Manchester, with Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor preferred by both Mark Hughes and his successor Roberto Mancini.

The arrival of Mario Balotelli and the return of Jo from loan have further restricted Santa Cruz's opportunities this term and should he not play for City again, he will have made just eight starts for the club, scoring three goals.

Blackburn's proposed move for Santa Cruz, one of new manager Steve Kean's prime targets, is far more realistic and sensible than a move for Brazil star Ronaldinho or former England captain Beckham; both players are pipe dreams for different reasons.

Those with inside knowledge of Blackburn's transfer policy have told ESPNsoccernet that AC Milan owe Ronaldinho several millions and while he is negotiating a return to Brazil, there is a chance he might be forced back to the San Siro.

Blackburn's inexperienced new Indian owners, Venky's, have a major outlet in Brazil and it is there that representatives from their office had contact with the player's agent and brother Roberto de Assis.

Figures were discussed but, as it stands, no formal offer has been received by AC Milan from Blackburn and a Rovers source described a move for Ronaldinho as a "remote possibility".




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