Hughes won't rush Santa Cruz return

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Manchester City boss Mark Hughes expects to be without Roque Santa Cruz until the end of August.

Hughes spent £17million to lure the Paraguayan down the M61 from Blackburn, but was already aware his City debut would be put on hold due to knee surgery.

And the City chief intends to let Santa Cruz recover at his own pace, telling the club's official website: "We knew Roque would have a period of rehabilitation when we signed him, but we have good options up front."

He added: "If we can, we want to give him the time he really needs, rather than getting him back early and having him at 70%.

"Rather than bring him back too soon. I would rather give him the time that he needs. We are hoping by the end of the month he will be available."

With just three days to go before his new-look side visit Blackburn, it promises to be a busy time for Hughes.

It is expected City will lodge another bid for Joleon Lescott, although Everton are giving no sign of being interested in doing a deal, even if the Eastlands outfit increase their most recent £18million offer.

Toffees boss David Moyes was unequivocal in his response to Lescott's official transfer request on Tuesday, and the Scot is showing no sign of softening his stance.

"I have said all along that I have no intention of selling my best players," he told

"Joleon is simply not for sale."

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Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Roque Santa Cruz
Joleon Lescott
Mark Hughes

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