Roque Santa Cruz was always going to be linked with Stoke City this summer. Considering that Mark Hughes signed him for both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City the fact he might be making a move for the player again this summer was an easy transfer rumour.
But the player himself has already made it clear this season that he did not want to return to the Premier League or English football; keen to find a new challenge away from our shores.
And he has done himself no harm this season with what has been a decent campaign whilst on loan at Malaga.
He may only have scored 12 goals for the club but that is his best return since 2008 and his performances were consistent throughout the campaign.
Now a free agent after his contract with Manchester City finally expired he has found himself courted by several big clubs from around the globe.
He has been linked with moves to Argentina, Brazil, USA, Spain, Turkey and Greece but recently a return to Germany has been the most likely destination.
Hamburg SV are keen on bringing the Paraguayan back to the Bundesliga; where he played for eight seasons with Bayern Munich early in his career.
Now the 31-year-old has himself confirmed that a Bosman transfer to the Imtech Arena would suit him down to the ground.
Santa Cruz stated that Germany was ‘beautiful’ and he has also worked with Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink; the pair playing in the same Bayern team.
But Santa Cruz said the decision would also depend on whether it was agreed by the whole family; and reports in Italy today suggest that is not the case.
Family members have recently had their beaks in the business of South American strikers in Europe. Edinson Cavani’s mum and dad both made statements on his future while the Higuain family all have something to say on the most famous of the crops future.
Now it appears that Santa Cruz’s wife is keen on an Italian switch. The report suggests that Giselle Tavarelli, sister of former Paraguay goalkeeper Ricardo Tavarelli, is pushing Roque toward an Italian switch; with Bologna likely to be the lucky recipients.
Leaving Mark Hughes with not one, but two teams ahead of him in the queue for Santa Cruz's services.
image: © warrenski