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City's Santa Cruz bid snubbed again

MANCHESTER City has had another bid to sign Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz rejected by Blackburn Rovers.

Blackburn received an offer reportedly worth 18.5 million pounds (US$26.4 million) from City for Santa Cruz.

City manager Mark Hughes said yesterday that the club is still considering whether to continue pursuing Santa Cruz before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce suggested on Thursday that City would be wasting its time as he would not be able to find a replacement in time.

Blackburn, the 1995 Premier League champion which is currently one point above the relegation zone, secured Santa Cruz on a new four-year deal in August after rebuffing other clubs' interest.

City could be more successful in its pursuit of Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given, who is believed to have put in a transfer request.

"We have put in a bid for Shay but we are still waiting for an update," Hughes said.

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear, meanwhile, has accused midfielder Charles N'Zogbia of trying to force a transfer by claiming to be insulted by him.

Kinnear appeared to mispronounce N'Zogbia's name as "Insomnia" during a TV interview last Wednesday after Newcastle's 1-2 loss to City.

"I wish to apologize to the fans for wanting to leave the club," the 22-year-old N'Zogbia said. "However, having been insulted by Joe Kinnear, I will never play for him again while he remains Newcastle manager."

Kinnear said he had just been "tongue-tied."

"I couldn't believe it when I was told Charles had issued a statement claiming he was insulted, apparently for nothing more than me mispronouncing his name in a post-match interview at Manchester City," Kinnear said.

Kinnear said N'Zogbia has been pushing for a transfer -- despite no other clubs expressing an interest.

"Sadly, this just smacks of a desperate attempt to engineer a move away from Newcastle United -- a club that gave Charles the chance to play in the Premier League and which has rewarded him handsomely during his time at St. James' Park," Kinnear said.


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