Santa Cruz wants to stay in North West as he plans to leave Manchester City

The 30-year-old has found first-team opportunities limited since joining from Blackburn and wants to sign for a team close-by as he looks to leave the Premier League champions
Roque Santa Cruz admits he would prefer to join a team in the North West as the Paraguayan seeks an escape from Manchester City.

The 30-year-old, who joined the Blues from Blackburn Rovers in 2009 for an estimated £17.5 million, has played just 20 times and has scored three goals since signing.

Santa Cruz spent last season on loan with La Liga side Real Betis where he netted seven times in 33 appearances, but the former Bayern Munich man is now hoping to earn a permanent move from the Etihad and hopes, with his family settled in the area, a North-West side can strike a deal for his services.

He told the Daily Mirror: "A North West club would be ideal. I don't want to keep moving my kids back and forth, it is not good to move them year after year.

"I would like to come back to the area permanently. We love the area, want to send the kids to the schools here, have everything we need there and feel at home.”

Despite his lack of playing time with City, Santa Cruz does not have any regrets about moving to the club and expressed his delight at the success they had last season under manager Roberto Mancini.

"I never regret anything, I had a good season in Spain and it was good to see [City] doing so well," he added.

"It was a great achievement they won the title and it was very special the way it happened.

"I have a lot of friends at City I appreciate the club and it was great to see them win the league.

"It was a frustrating time for me at City, the manager has a choice to use players he thinks he can trust and bring players in that he has confidence in."