Roque Santa cruz has revealed he wants to move to Spain in the new year and also claims Carlos Tevez is unhappy at Manchester City.
The Paraguayan striker, 29, was close to joining Lazio before the summer transfer deadline but has barely featured this season, having joined City from Blackburn for £18m following a protracted pursuit in the summer of 2009.
Having almost departed just two months ago, Santa Cruz's desire to move on will come as little surprise but his claims about the City captain Tevez could have a more far-reaching impact.
Tevez, who has just under four years left on his contract at Eastlands, recently insisted he was "an old man", had had enough of football and would retire soon. Santa Cruz says the City captain is miserable. "Your heart goes out to his family," Santa Cruz said. "He wants to be among his people, who are in Argentina.
"His siblings and his daughters are also there... when you feel that your homeland is calling you back, you could end up giving up everything to return. Still, I think he will see it out and fulfil his contract with City before returning home."
Mark Hughes was desperate when City manager to sign the Paraguayan, whose career he revitalised by taking him to Blackburn from Bayern Munich, but Santa Cruz has made just six Premier League starts. Even under Hughes, he was consistently injured and has rarely been considered for Mancini's lone striker's role since the Italian took over in December.
Santa Cruz cannot see the situation changing and now wants a transfer to La Liga. "Unfortunately I'm not playing as I'd like," he added. "The club has invested heavily, competition for places is great and I'm working every day to try and convince the coach but I'm still not getting picked.
"I'm not getting the playing time to convince anybody and my priority is to leave in the January transfer market. The coach has opted for certain players and on top of that his system plays with just the one striker, so I have even fewer options.
"I'm 29 years old and still hope to fulfil my dream of playing in Spain. It is the dream of most South American players, so hopefully it will happen."Reuse content