Manchester City intensified negotiations with Blackburn Rovers last night over striker Roque Santa Cruz.

The Times says City have finally established formal contact with Blackburn as they try to secure the signing of Santa Cruz in a deal worth in the region of £15 million.

John Williams, the Blackburn chairman, was quoted as saying yesterday lunchtime that he had yet to receive a formal offer from City for Santa Cruz, but contact has since been made between the clubs at boardroom level, with Hughes hoping that a deal for the Paraguay forward can be concluded sooner rather than later.