New Santa Cruz bid rejected

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The Independent Online

Mark Hughes has confirmed Manchester City have had an improved offer for Roque Santa Cruz turned down by Blackburn.

City have been chasing Santa Cruz for much of the transfer window and went back with an increased bid for the Paraguayan yesterday, only for Rovers to say no.

"Yesterday afternoon we put an improved bid to Blackburn for Roque Santa Cruz but it was rejected," said Hughes.

Hughes confirmed City were still considering whether to pursue the matter any further, although Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce did suggest yesterday that the Blues would be wasting their time as he would not be able to get a replacement.

They may get more joy in the pursuit of goalkeeper Shay Given though.

The Republic of Ireland international is believed to have put in a transfer request at Newcastle last night and has made it clear he would like to join the Eastlands club.

Hughes wants Given's experience to give City's defence more solidity and now he is waiting for the Magpies to make contact.

"We have put in a bid for Shay but we are still waiting for an update," he said.

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear is known to be irritated by City's attempts to sign Given, while Wigan manager Steve Bruce was fiercely critical of the club last week for unsettling Wilson Palacios, who subsequently signed for Tottenham.

"The criticism is unfair," said Hughes.

"The Wigan stuff is a little bit bizarre. I am not quite sure where Steve is coming from.

"He is confusing everyone I think, including himself."

Hughes confirmed City have not made a formal approach for any players besides those made for Given and Santa Cruz, when he was specifically questioned about Arsenal defender Kolo Toure.

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