Ireland has struggled to find his way into the plans of City manager Roberto Martinez following the Italian's arrival midway through last season.
Should I stay or should I go? Manchester City star Stephen Ireland
The 23-year-old is just 12 months into a lucrative five-year deal atCity but is reportedly eyeing an exit after failing to reproduce thesparkling form he showed during the 2008/09 campaign.
However, Paraguay international Santa Cruz believes Ireland still has much to offer the Barclays Premier League club, despite the expected influx of new players this summer.
Battle: Stephen Ireland clashes with Johnny Heitinga during City's match against Everton in March
'He is a very nice guy and a fantastic player also, so I think everybody at the club would be very disappointed to see him leaving. He is a great talent,' said Santa Cruz.
'This season has been hard for him, not finding a starting place in the team, but it is always going to be hard when you are at a team that is always getting new players who start all the time.
'It is very hard for everyone.'
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