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Hughes happy with options

05 Feb 2009 - 09:06:45

Mark Hughes claims he is happy with his Manchester City strikeforce despite his failure to land long-term target Roque Santa Cruz during the January transfer window.

City saw several bids for the Paraguay international rejected by Hughes' former club Blackburn Rovers and Santa Cruz ultimately remained at Ewood Park.

Hughes let Brazilian misfit Jo leave Eastlands on loan, but believes the return to fitness of Benjani Mwaruwari and Valeri Bojinov will lend some much-needed physical presence to his frontline.

"He (Santa Cruz) would have addressed that but we allowed Jo to go and you could say that there's height there," Hughes told the club's official website.

"But Benjani is coming back, Danny Sturridge too and Valeri Bojinov is very close to getting games at reserve team level, so we hope he'll be back soon.

"In all honesty, Jo was not likely to feature in the team from now until the end of the season.

"We're getting players back and that has to help before the end of the season.

"In the short term we might have a problem with physical presence, but we have different types of players and Ched Evans is coming back from an injury and he has a presence up front as well.

"Roque would have ticked a lot of boxes but we have alternatives."

Meanwhile, Hughes is hopeful of agreeing a new long-term contract with highly-rated teenage striker Sturridge.

"We want Daniel to stay, that's a given," he added.

"The situation is that he has six months left, his advisors are in an understanding where they are in a position of strength, and we want to do a deal that shows our intent with regard to Daniel.

"We're not quite there yet but we are hopeful. I think there are meetings planned for this week. We hope something can come from that and Daniel can put it all to bed."


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