Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Santa Cruz sees no future in England

Roque Santa Cruz, pictured, admits he still has a good relationship with manager Roberto Mancini

Roque Santa Cruz is happy to turn his back on the Premier League.

After successful stints at Bayern Munich and Blackburn, the Paraguay forward was tipped to make a big impression at Manchester City when Mark Hughes snapped him up for £17.5million in 2009. Within six months though, Hughes had been replaced by Roberto Mancini and after a succession of injuries, Santa Cruz found himself surplus to requirements.

Currently on loan with Malaga after similar spells with Blackburn and Real Betis, the 31-year-old, whose contract is up at the end of this season, told BBC World Service: "I do not see myself going back to the Premier League because my family are very settled here and I do not want to keep bringing my children back and forth [between England and Spain]."

He went on: "I want something stable for my family for the next few years.

I would consider moving back to South America - something else I would love to do in the future."

Santa Cruz has had a role in Malaga's superb start to their maiden Champions League campaign.

There is even a chance he could play against his parent club later in the competition, although clearly City would need to improve after picking up just a single point from their first two games.

Santa Cruz would welcome a meeting, however, if only to have a chat with Mancini, a man he still respects despite the Italian's decision to dump him.

"We have an honest relationship with great respect," said Santa Cruz.

"He knows he will get the truth from me if he asks anything and I believe I can go to him too."

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