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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Rovers hopeful over Santa Cruz

Blackburn Rovers are optimistic that a deal to bring Roque Santa Cruz back to Ewood Park could be agreed by the end of the week.

Rovers working on Santa Cruz return

Blackburn are negotiating a loan move with Manchester City, but the big stumbling block is how to divide his £90,000-a-week wages. City are loath to subsidise departing players' salaries but may have no choice if they are to succeed in reducing the squad.

Rovers sold Santa Cruz to Manchester City for £17.5 million in 2009, but he has failed to make any significant impact and is now surplus to requirements at Eastlands.

Blackburn had talked up unlikely bids for Ronaldinho and David Beckham in recent days, but ESPNsoccernet understands the remarks were designed simply to provide a smokescreen as they worked on more obtainable targets. The club hope to sign three to four new players in the January window.

Manager Steve Kean is also ready to let Chris Samba go to Aston Villa in a swap deal with James Collins, and plans to make a bid for Blackpool playmaker Charlie Adam.

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