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Hamburg eye Santa Cruz

Hamburg have targeted Roque Santa Cruz as a potential replacement for Bayer Leverkusen-bound Heung-Min Son.

Roque Santa Cruz: Key to Malaga's win
Roque Santa Cruz could be set for a return to the Bundesliga

Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer revealed on Tuesday that Son is expected to sign for Leverkusen "in the next few days".

And Kreuzer feels that Santa Cruz, who spent last season on loan at Malaga, could be an impressive addition to the squad as the club look to rebuild for next term.

“Santa Cruz perfectly fits into our profile,” he told Bild on Wednesday.

The former Bayern Munich striker is available on a free transfer with his Manchester City contract due to expire at the end of the month.

“He will also cost no transfer fee. That’s also not irrelevant. If a man like him is on the market you have to take care of it,” Kreuzer said.

On Thursday, however, kicker reported that Santa Cruz’s salary could become an issue with the Bundesliga club, who are currently trying to lower their wage bill.

Hamburg, who have also joined the race for Nurnberg defender Timm Klose, are currently trying to offload fringe players Robert Tesche, Gojkan Kacar and Marcus Berg.

The trio have been thrown out of the squad and will not train with the first team once Hamburg’s pre-season starts.

“It was about making a signal to the players that it will not continue here, that it does not make sense any more. That’s why they will not train with the squad,” Kreuzer said.

“We respect their contracts. But it is also about the careers of those players, they are 26 now. When they just sit about running their contracts down, then their career could be over pretty soon.”

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