City boss gives blessing to Santa Cruz exit

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Roberto Mancini believes Roque Santa Cruz deserves better than his current predicament at Manchester City and hopes the Paraguay international can find another club in January.

Santa Cruz has played only once this season and was recently quoted as stating his desire to leave City in the next transfer window. It has been a disappointing time for the striker at Eastlands since his arrival from Blackburn in 2009 and on Friday Mancini gave the green light for Santa Cruz to move on.

"Roque is a fantastic man and a good player, but he knows the situation here," the City manager said.

"I am very sorry for him because Roque deserves to play every game, because he works very well.

"But it is difficult at the moment. I hope for him that he can go to play for another team, because he deserves this."

Rumours had circulated that a frustrated Mario Balotelli might be looking for a swift return to Italy, although quotes attributed to the player's agent appeared in the press this week indicating he was happy at City.

Asked for his reaction to that news, Mancini said: "I think Mario must start to play here - this is the first thing. It is very important for us.

"He played for 20 minutes against Arsenal. He is a good player and I think he will be a very important player for us this season."

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Manchester City
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Roque Santa Cruz

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