Roque Santa Cruz's determination to join Manchester City led to high-level talks at Blackburn Rovers tonight in which the unsettled forward reiterated his desire to leave the club. Santa Cruz made it clear he was desperate for the move to happen and the player's stance will encourage City to return with a new, improved offer in the coming days.>>guardian.co.uk
An interesting comment from Mark Hughes in that he acknowledged that the release fee in Santa Cruz's contract does not kick in until summer 2009, meaning we can either wait until the off season or pay what appears to be over the odds to secure the deal in January.
However, it doesn't sound as though Hughes is overly keen on paying over the odds for Santa Cruz:
"We have bid a realistic figure but that is clearly a different figure to what [Blackburn] require to allow him to leave. We accept that. We have pursued him for a long time and they have been aware of our interest for quite a long time and we are just trying to make it happen now. It will come to a point where we will have to make a decision and that could be the decision to walk away. If we throw £50m at it then I am sure they would sell but we are not going to do that."A report in The Times follows on from this theme, with Hughes acknowledging that a 'premium' is being placed on deals as he tries to add to his squad.
I'd be surprised if the Santa Cruz deal did not ultimately go through, but it is likely to be a protracted and drawn out affair - maybe even with Blackburn stalling until they can bring in a replacement.
Although money is clearly no object for us, it would set a dangerous precedent in terms of future transfers if we were to pay way over the odds for Santa Cruz - so perhaps an important decision needs lies ahead for Hughes.