Premier League

Sam planning for life with Santa

Rovers chief stern in the face of interest from City

Santa Cruz: City target

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Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce has stressed his determination to keep hold of Manchester City target Roque Santa Cruz.

Former Rovers boss Mark Hughes - now at City - has made no secret of his desire to land Santa Cruz, with the affluent club already failing with three bids.

Hughes reiterated his wish to land the Paraguayan on Friday, but Allardyce is adamant he remains in his plans ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Sunderland and beyond.

"He has a contract with Blackburn, who pay him, and so he has an obligation under that contract to play when selected, and that's what I expect Roque to do," said Allardyce.

"I wouldn't have thought there will be any hangover, but we'll find out when the whistle blows at three o'clock tomorrow."

He added: "There's been no movement, no communication between ourselves and Manchester City for the last few days now.

"The position we're in is that Roque is still one of our players. I'm not expecting anything further, so we are where we are with him. We want him to stay.

"Now whether Manchester City make another move is entirely up to them."


Allardyce has confirmed he is only in the market for loan moves, while he admitted a move for Barcelona's Eidur Gudjohnsen, who he worked with at Bolton, is unlikely to materialise.

"It would be lovely to have Eidur playing with me at Blackburn," added Allardyce.

"Whilst he might not be a regular at Barcelona at the moment, it is somewhere he still enjoys living and playing.

"So from that point of view, as much as I'd like it, it would be very difficult for him to come here.

"As of now there's nothing pending, nothing imminent one way or the other.

"We've had a look at a few trialists this week (Marco Zoro, Babacar Gueye and Jean Calve), but we don't feel they are going to improve the first team immediately.


"They're good players but we don't think they can make an impact straight away, so we'll be saying no to all of those.

"I'm only in the loan market, and we've done very well with Gael Givet, who I consider to be a quality player.

"If anybody else of that quality becomes available then yes, I'll be very interested, but if not then I'll go with the players I have here."