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By ESPN Staff

Blackburn closing in on Bayern's Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz could be on the verge of a move to Blackburn after travelling to England with his representatives to talk to the Premier League club.

Bayern Munich's Paraguay striker has already indicated he would be interested in joining Mark Hughes' side.

Santa Cruz, 25, appears ready for a new challenge after eight years at the Bundesliga giants.

Blackburn boss Hughes said: 'We are very close regarding Santa Cruz. As far as I am aware he is in the country now.

'We've had some positive indications from his people and hopefully something will happen.

'Santa Cruz is a young player, an international with a good reputation who is playing at a top European club.

'The good thing from our point of view is that his fitness levels are fine as he has been playing in the Copa America.

'Maybe in the next 24 hours a deal could be concluded if the price is right.'

Hughes is already well-off for strikers, with Benni McCarthy, Jason Roberts, Matt Derbyshire and new recruit Maceo Rigters all vying for a first team place.

Paul Gallagher and Francis Jeffers are also on the payroll but it would be no surprise if Hughes was to reduce his numbers in that department.

Hughes said: 'Possibly that could happen but I am quite happy with the options I have.

'I am looking to supplement the qualities of the strikers we have here.

'You have to have depth and quality to cope with the demands of a long season.

'What we don't have is a real threat in the air and that is something we are looking to address.'

Meanwhile Blackburn are looking to clinch a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup tomorrow at Ewood Park.

They are clear favourites to progress as they hold a 2-0 advantage against Lithuanian side FK Vetra going into the Intertoto Cup third round second leg match.

Hughes is calling for his team to adopt a ruthless approach and secure their passage into the next stage.

He said: 'They did cause us a few problems as we are still building up our fitness and we have to be mindful of that.

'We will approach this game in a professional manner and hope to get the job done.'

Blackburn are trying to boost the attendance by allowing children in for £1 and Hughes added: 'A decent crowd always gives the players a lift.'