Big Sam wants Roque to remain a Rover

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Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has resolved his issues with Roque Santa Cruz and has told the striker he wants him to keep him at the club.

The Paraguay international gave an interview on the eve of Allardyce's first match in charge in which he said if a "better or an ambitious club" came in for him he would like to join them.

"We've had the discussion and I just said the timing I thought was very poor," said Allardyce. "He should have not done that interview. Obviously I felt it was slightly sinister, the timing of it, but we have resolved that and I have told him I don't want him to leave and that is probably the end of it."

All season Santa Cruz has been linked with a reunion with Manchester City manager Mark Hughes, the man who signed him for Rovers from Bayern Munich in summer 2007.

Since Allardyce took over last Wednesday there have been suggestions the striker, who could command a fee between £15-£20million, would be offloaded to generate necessary funds for squad rebuilding. But the former Bolton and Newcastle manager said that was not the case.

"You can never be 100% about anything in this game but I haven't come here to sell my best players," he stressed.

Midfielder David Dunn believes some of the criticism levelled at Santa Cruz has been unfair.

The 27-year-old has struggled to regain the form which saw him score 23 goals in his debut season but Dunn said that was not for want of trying.

"Roque is such a good genuine lad. He has been playing with injuries which he shouldn't have been doing," said Dunn. "He wanted to help the cause and help us get out of the mess. He is one of those guys who is a top lad, always tries his best and is not a bad egg around the place.

"He is 100% committed the cause. I had a chat with him on Monday night about this and will be fine with it."

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Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Mark Hughes
Roque Santa Cruz
David Dunn
Mark Hughes

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