Transfer News and Speculation: 2 February

Santa Cruz to pick Eastlands over Spurs after £20m bid
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The Independent Online

Manchester City made an improved offer of £20m for Blackburn's Roque Santa Cruz last night, a sum that Tottenham were prepared to match but the Paraguay striker favours rejoining his former manager at Ewood Park Mark Hughes. Blackburn's board were meeting last night to decide whether to accept the bid and if so were thought to be targetting Schalke's Kevin Kuranyi as a replacement. Sam Allardyce, the Blackburn manager, said on Saturday that he was expecting the improved bid. "It's not in our hands, it's in other people's hands to make another bid if they're going to. At the moment we're not selling him He would like to move, he's said that."

City's Brazilian striker Jo is in talks with Everton about a loan move but an unknown Russian club have offered £7.5m for the former CSKA Moscow man.

Zola has Moon in his sights

By Jason Burt

Is Mr Moon going to arrive at Upton Park today? West Ham United are close to agreeing a deal to sign the 22-year-old South Africa international Bryce Moon to provide cover at right-back and midfield following the departure of Julien Faubert to Real Madrid on loan for the rest of the season, at a cost of £1.5m, with an option to buy in the summer. Moon, who plays for Panathinaikos, would cost less than £1m and has been tracked by West Ham's technical director Gianluca Nani for some time. It is expected that Moon should sign before the close of the January transfer window at 5pm today. West Ham also hope to sell Calum Davenport before the deadline passes although, as of last night, no deal had been concluded for the £3m-rated central defender and former Tottenham Hotspur player who has been deemed surplus to requirements by manager Gianfranco Zola as he continues to re-shape his squad.

Chopra may wing it back to Wales

By Michael Walker

Cardiff City have shown renewed interest in bringing Sunderland's Michael Chopra back to Ninian Park following yesterday's drawn Tyne-Wear derby in which Chopra was a substitute, replacing scorer Djibril Cissé. Cardiff are understood to have made a fresh bid for the 25-year-old after the game. Chopra spent a season with Cardiff in 2006, as well as scoring five goals in 11 matches during a loan spell earlier this campaign, and if the bid is acceptable Sunderland are expected to sell.

Strachan silent on Fletcher move

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan refused to discuss Steven Fletcher's possible move to the Hoops following the goalless draw against Inverness Caledonian yesterday. The Parkhead club are believed to be keen to land the powerful Hibernian striker before the transfer window closes at 5pm today. Fletcher would be a welcome addition to a Celtic strike-force that has gone two successive games without scoring. Strachan admitted too many of his big players failed to perform in the goalless draw at the Caledonian Stadium.

Rumour Mill: tales from the web

Djibril Cissé, on loan from Marseilles, will stun Sunderland and quit at the end of the season. Despite his goal yesterday, the Frenchman has struggled for form since the return of Kenwyne Jones. (News of the World)

Brazilian wonderkid Pato will link up with countryman Phil Scolari at Chelsea in a £24m summer move, with forgotten man Didier Drogba heading to Italy to join Juventus for £12m. ( football-rumours.co.uk)

Darren Bent is interesting Hull as he struggles for first-team action at Spurs, with the Tigers looking to strengthen their firepower. (News of the World)

Struggling Middlesbrough have failed in a bid to bring in Reading midfielder James Harper. ( goal.com)

Former Leeds and Everton midfielder Olivier Dacourt will secure a move to Fulham. (Sky Sports)

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