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Manchester City flop Santa Cruz draws a line under his Premier League career

Roque Santa Cruz’s Premier League career is over.

The Paraguayan international signed for Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2007, when Mark Hughes signed him from Bayern Munich in a bargain £3.5million deal. Santa Cruz was an instant hit in Lancashire, and scored 23 goals in 57 league appearances before Manchester City – managed by Hughes – paid a whopping £17.5million to lure him across the North West.

However, the 31-year-old failed to make an impression at the Etihad Stadium due to injury, a lack of form, and Roberto Mancini succeeding Hughes and having other plans. He failed to score when loaned back to Ewood Park for the end of the 2010-11 season, and he spent last term on loan with Real Betis.

Santa Cruz is now back in Spain on loan at Malaga, who have provided him with UEFA Champions League football, but he has been linked with a THIRD spell under Hughes, who is now in charge of Queens Park Rangers. But the striker, who is now in the final months of his four-year contract at City, insists his time in the Premier League has now come to a conclusion.

"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 said. "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. We [City manager Roberto Mancini and I] have an honest relationship with great respect. 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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