Santa Cruz on the cusp
Roque Santa Cruz is on the brink of a loan return to his former club Blackburn Rovers.
Cruz left 18 months ago to chase the dream and the cash at Man City but the dream turned into a nightmare with a £17.5 million move turning into a disaster.
Injuries and a lack of first team opportunities have meant Cruz is now very much surplus to requirements at Eastlands and Rovers boss Steve Kean has moved in to bag him on loan.
The Guardian is reporting - 'Roberto Mancini's gradual easing out of Mark Hughes's signings at Manchester City is accelerating with Roque Santa Cruz likely to be next to join the exodus, the striker poised to rejoin Blackburn Rovers to end an 18-month spell better known for his injuries rather than goals.
Santa Cruz has scored only four times since joining City in July 2009 and Hughes's year-long pursuit to bring him to Eastlands, for £17.5m, now looks to have been one of the more wasteful transfers of modern times.
In total, Santa Cruz started eight games, with another 16 substitute appearances. The Paraguay international has earned around £6m in wages and was so marginalised this season he did not even make Mancini's 25-man squad for the Europa League. Instead the striker would often be seen cycling into the club's practice ground to train on his own.
Lazio have been trying to lure him to Italy but Santa Cruz's family is settled in the north-west of England and he is close to finalising a loan move to return to the club where he scored 23 goals in the 2007-08 campaign, his one season in English football when he has not been troubled by injury issues. If everything goes according to plan, including a stringent medical examination, a deal to the end of the season could go through in time for him to make his debut at Chelsea on Saturday.'