Blackburn reject Santa Cruz bid

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The Independent Online

Blackburn have confirmed they have turned down a bid from Barclays Premier League rivals Manchester City for striker Roque Santa Cruz.

The Paraguay international was Blackburn's top scorer last season and has been linked with a number of clubs this summer - including City's neighbours Manchester United.

A statement on Rovers' website, www.rovers.co.uk, read: "A bid came in last night and it was immediately rejected.

"Various Manchester City officials have been advised on a number of occasions that the player would not be for sale.

"We are very disappointed, therefore, that they have continued their interest."

City boss Mark Hughes' plans for the new season were dealt a blow last night when Darius Vassell was ruled out for 10 weeks with a knee injury.

The Welshman moved quickly to remedy that problem by attempting to sign the man who scored 19 league goals for him last season while Hughes was manager at Blackburn.

The fee City have offered is believed to be around the £12m mark - over £8m more than Blackburn paid for his services when they signed him from Bayern Munich last summer.

Santa Cruz spent eight years at the German club and has scored 17 goals in the 53 international appearances he has made for Paraguay.

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