Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed Roque Santa Cruz is almost certain to return to Blackburn within the coming days - and paved the way for Shaun Wright-Phillips' departure as well.
Mancini has already stated that Edin Dzeko will probably be the only new face arriving at Eastlands during the current transfer window, so most of the attention around City this month is set to be on the players who will leave.
Wayne Bridge was first man out of the exit door on Wednesday, joining West Ham for the remainder of the season and Mancini said: "It is the same situation for Roque and Shaun Wright-Phillips. He has two or three options."
Both players came in during Mark Hughes' brief tenure, so it is little wonder Fulham has been suggested as an option for Wright-Phillips. Having tried so hard to get Santa Cruz from his former club Blackburn, Hughes would doubtless be interested in the Paraguayan as well, although it appears his preference is to remain in the north-west.
"Roque will probably go to Blackburn," confirmed Mancini. "Every player wants to play. I understand that. But it is difficult for me.
"If an opportunity for either of them to play came up, then it would be better for them and I hope for Roque that in one or two days, he will have that."
The situation with Emmanuel Adebayor is not quite so clear cut.
With Mancini re-stating his belief that it will be a couple of weeks at the earliest before he knows whether Mario Balotelli will need an operation on his knee injury, the Togo forward's future remains on hold.
A number of different clubs, both at home and abroad, have expressed their interest in the former Arsenal man. But Mancini is wary of leaving himself short of options.
"A lot of teams want Emmanuel but at the moment we have to wait for Mario Balotelli," confirmed the City chief. "Maybe Manu will leave but we have another 20 days, so we have time to make a decision. If we lose three or four, we might end up in a situation where we don't have enough players for the remainder of the season."
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