Santa Cruz: I'd love to face City in Champions League

Paraguayan striker is flourishing on loan with Malaga but holds no grudge against Mancini

Roque Santa Cruz is happy to turn his back on the Premier League. After successful stints at Bayern Munich and Blackburn, the Paraguay forward was tipped to make a big impression at Manchester City when Mark Hughes snapped him up for £17.5m in 2009.

Within six months though, Hughes had been replaced by Roberto Mancini and after a succession of injuries, Santa Cruz found himself surplus to requirements.

After loan spells back at Blackburn and with Real Betis, the 31-year-old was farmed out again this season, to another La Liga outfit, Malaga.

So far, Santa Cruz has made six appearances for the high-flying Andalucian club, all but one as a substitute.

He is enjoying the experience though. Enough to know that when his City contract expires at the end of the season, he will not be heading back to England. "I do not see myself going back to the Premier League because my family are very settled here and I do not want to keep bringing my children back and forth [between England and Spain]," Santa Cruz said.

"I want something stable for my family for the next few years. I would consider moving back to South America – something else I would love to do in the future."

Santa Cruz has had a role in Malaga's superb start to their maiden Champions League campaign. There is even a chance he could play against his parent club later in the competition, although clearly City would need to improve after picking up just a single point from their first two games.

Santa Cruz would welcome a meeting though, if only to have a chat with Mancini, a man he still respects despite the Italian's decision to dump him. "We have an honest relationship with great respect," said Santa Cruz. "He knows he will get the truth from me if he asks anything and I believe I can go to him too."

Meanwhile, Fulham defender Philippe Senderos has been impressed by the way his team-mates have started the campaign after a summer of upheaval.

Mousa Dembélé, Clint Dempsey, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Murphy were among the key players to depart Craven Cottage, leaving manager Martin Jol with a rebuilding job on his hands.However, the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Mladen Petric and Kieran Richardson have come in and helped Fulham make a better start than many had expected.

The west Londoners currently lie ninth in the Premier League and Senderos, who has been forced to watch from the sidelines through injury, has been impressed by his team-mates.

"It has been a pretty good start and we're really happy with it," he said. "Hopefully we can build on the good start and continue like this.

"We've lost a few players and replaced them really with players that are hungry and they want to do well.

"The team has responded really well in the first game and hopefully, for me personally, I can get my chance and grab it and be in the team.

"I am available for selection so hopefully I will start again very soon," Senderos said."It is nice to be back. I've been training and with the reserves I have played my second game."

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines