Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has told Manchester City time has run out on their attempt to land Roque Santa Cruz.
The Paraguay striker continues to be linked with City, despite the fact they have yet to increase their offer since a £16million bid was rejected earlier this month.
Allardyce, who maintains Santa Cruz is staying at Ewood Park as he would have no time to find a replacement, said: "There is not the opportunity now to get the quality of striker we need to allow us to even consider letting Roque Santa Cruz move to Manchester City."
The feeling remains City boss Mark Hughes will test the water one more time before the transfer window shuts at 5pm on Monday, whilst Spurs might also make a late move.
But Allardyce continued: "For me, he stays, although I can't put it to bed completely until the deadline has passed.
"It's impossible, from any manager's point of view, to see what happens between now and then.
"But I certainly wish it was the third of February on Friday."
With Blackburn battling to beat the drop, Santa Cruz underlined his importance to Allardyce in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at home to Bolton.
With Rovers trailing 2-0, the 27-year-old came off the bench just before the hour and certainly made an impact, playing his part in helping Blackburn to snatch a point.
"He came on and changed the dynamics of the game for us by the fact he is a very clever player," assessed Allardyce. "He is six foot four, yet has great touch and great control, and he also knows where to run to find space. He is a massive player for us, as we all know."
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