West Ham take lead in race to sign £10m Santa Cruz

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The Independent Football

Manchester City, who need to shed a third of their squad in order to meet Premier League requirements, may see forward Roque Santa Cruz depart for West Ham after just one season at Eastlands .

The City manager Roberto Mancini has to reduce his squad – currently standing at 39 players – to meet the new 25-man quota guidelines, which come into force at the end of the month.

Craig Bellamy has already been told he can leave, while Santa Cruz, who has also been linked with Fulham, appears set to follow the Welshman out of the club.

West Ham, keen to add to their forward line after last weekend's display at Aston Villa, could land the 29-year-old for £10m.

Meanwhile, the Benfica president, Luis Filipe Vieira, has attached an expensive price tag to defender David Luiz in an effort to ward off suitors. "We would only begin talks over an offer of about €40m [£32.3m]," Vieira said of Luiz, who has been interesting Chelsea. "[Otherwise] it would be bad business for us."

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