Roque Santa Cruz ready to leave Blackburn

19 December 2008 09:15
The 27-year-old Paraguay forward has been the subject of transfer speculation since the summer with Manchester City, the club of his former boss Mark Hughes, with whom he is most frequently linked with a possible deal.

Santa Cruz signed a new four-year deal with Rovers at the start of the season, but following their poor start to the campaign speculation has again risen to the surface.

For his part Santa Cruz has made no secret of his desire to one day leave Blackburn for a bigger club, but the striker insists if he does leave Ewood Park in January it will be with a heavy heart.

"Everybody knows my opinion (regarding a possible transfer), I am happy at Blackburn but also I want to keep improving my football and remain ambitious," he told radio Five Live.

"My contract with Blackburn is clear and for that I need to continue with the club.

"But I am looking to again play in a big side that is in Europe and trying to win their league.

"I have to say the people here at Blackburn are fantastic, I am very happy with the fans.

"But, I don't want to miss the chance of playing with a big side. If a bigger club came in for me then I would like to take that opportunity.

"I also understand the interests of Blackburn as well and they do not want to lose players.

"I want to watch out for myself but I have to think of Blackburn. It is a very hard decision."

Santa Cruz joined Rovers in the summer of 2007 following an injury-riddled spell at Bayern Munich.

He made an immediate impact in his first season, under Hughes, scoring 19 league goals to put his name back up in lights.

And while Santa Cruz admits he holds Hughes in high esteem for helping him rediscover his best form, he denied his relationship with the Welsh tactician meant a move to City was a fait accompli.

"It is clear that he got me back to my (best) football after my injury problems at Bayern," Santa Cruz said.

"He gave me confidence to play football again. Of course it is always a nice feeling to have a manager who is always backing you and I will always appreciate what he did for me."

Regarding the transfer speculation, he added: "To be fair I know as much as you guys know.

"I read about clubs having an interest in me. So far all I know is what I've read in the newspaper."

Santa Cruz also revealed he was a doubt for tomorrow's game at home to Stoke after picking up a calf strain in training this morning.

The match will be new manager Sam Allardyce's first in charge after Paul Ince was sacked earlier this week.

Source: Telegraph