Transfer latest: Malaga confirm permanent signing of Roque Santa Cruz following Manchester City release

Striker will remain with Spanish club having spent last season on loan from City

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The Independent Football

Roque Santa Cruz has joined Malaga on a permanent deal after he was released by Manchester City following the expiration of his contract.

The striker spent last season on-loan at the club having spent the 2011-12 season with fellow Spanish club Real Betis. Santa Cruz was considered major signing by then manager Mark Hughes following the Abu-Dhabi based takeover in 2008, with the £17.5 million transfer taking him from Hughes former club Blackburn Rovers in 2009.

But he failed to make an impact at City, appearing just 20 times and scoring three times during his four-year spell with the side, and he was shipped back to Rovers in 2011 on a loan deal before his moves to Betis and Malaga. His signing equates to nearly £6m per goal for the Citizens.

It represents a good signing for Malaga, who have already seen Isco, Joaquin and Javier Saviola leave the club as well as their manager Manuel Pellegrini, who went in the opposite direction to Santa Cruz has he took up the high-pressured role at the Etihad.

It continues their recruitment drive as they attempt to replace the big names going out the door, with Bobley Anderson, Fernando Tissone and Flavio Nunes already confirmed as joining the club.

Malaga finished sixth last season, but have been banned from the Europa League by Uefa when they became one of the first clubs to fall foul of the new Financial Fair Play rules.