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Santa Cruz looks set to join Manchester City for £16.5m

After months of speculation Roque Santa Cruz looks set to join Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers early next week in a deal believed to be worth somewhere in the region of £16.5m.

The Paraguay international was widely expected to join City in January but the club were put off by Blackburn's initial £18m asking price. Santa Cruz joined Rovers for £3.8m back in 2007 so the club will still make a healthy profit despite the reduced fee of £16.5m.

The only potential spanner in the works would appear to be the 27-year-old striker's fitness problems. Santa Cruz has been out of action since March with a knee injury which required surgery, so City will want to assess his fitness before finalizing the deal.

The former Bayern Munich striker will become City's second signing of the summer following the arrival of Gareth Barry last month for £12m. Mark Hughes brought Santa Cruz to Ewood Park two years ago and will be hoping that the 27-year-old can add something that his team were missing last season: a target man who can hold the ball up and lead the line.

Big spenders City are also reported to be in the hunt for Carlos Tevez and Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o. While more players are sure to arrive at Eastlands over the next two months the club are looking to offload Felipe Caicedo, Jo, Benjani Mwaruwari, Darius Vassell and Ched Evans.

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