Date:Thursday July 26 2007
Whilst many of us have expressed confusion over Mark Hughes` desire to add ANOTHER striker to the arsenal of talent already available at Ewood, we now find ourselves in an exciting position with names being thrown around looser than The Hammered`s defence.
This week has seen the link with Roque Santa Cruz realised with reports emanating from Ewood that a firm bid has been lodged for the Paraguayan international striker. Rovers are now eagerly awaiting a response from the Bayern forward.
Other clubs have been linked to Santa Cruz such as Porto and Real Zaragoza; even Manchester City have been credited with an interest but, as they continue to act like a child in a sweet shop, their interest in anyone cannot be taken seriously.
It is thought Rovers have left the ball very much in the player`s court but won`t be messed around in a transfer debacle that would induce memories of last summers wrangling with a certain fallen star from Tottenham; Mido.
Many think that if this deal collapses then Hughes will turn to former Rover James Beattie. This would perhaps provide more confusion as he wouldn`t be improving the striking options, merely another name.
Alas, today have seen two reports of additional names being linked. The first is FC Nantes and Belgium international striker Luigi Pieroni. The 27-year-old is thought to be on Hughes` wishlist and is flying to England for talks with Rovers and another Premiership side.
Adding to this speculation is news that Mark Hughes would be willing to match Manchester United`s £6million valuation of England striker Alan Smith.
It had been widely expected he would sign for Middlesbrough, who have been chasing him for some time, despite his desire to remain at Old Tarfford. Smith is keen to stay and fight at Old Trafford but with Carlos Tevez expected to join the wealth of attacking options at Man Utd his chances of playing look limited. This would not do his international ambitions any good.
News yesterday appeared to paint the picture that Middlesbrough were the only serious contenders for his signature but Hughes appears to have thrown his hat in the ring.
This will make for an exciting few days preceding the weekend for Rovers fans who can now fervently debate who will be the latest name to arrive at Ewood over a bevy or two.
Despite a desire for Hughes to look at other areas of the squad we have to trust his judgement and names like Santa Cruz and Smith will certainly improve the team. And it is here that I stipulate my choice. I`m sure many of you will disagree but my vote will be marginally for Santa Cruz.
I know in the past I have disagreed with the idea of him but he slightly edges it over Smith. Either would be a GOOD addition to the squad and I would welcome them. Smith would be good because he knows the league, is English and has proved in the past he has an eye for goal. Alas, questions arise over a number of elements. Has he recovered properly from injury? Does he still have an eye for goal? Will a Yorkshire man be made to feel at home in Lancashire?
Santa Cruz certainly dodges that last question but debate arises around his injury proneness and ability to adapt to the English game.
Nevertheless it will make for an exciting few days for Rovers fans; well as long as we don`t sign Beattie!
Date:Thursday July 26 2007
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