Aston Villa intend to offer £16 million for Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz.

The Daily Star says Villa boss Martin O'Neill is determined to do what it takes to lure his No.1 target to Villa Park before the end of the transfer window.

And he will use the transfer funds to launch a £16m bid for the Paraguay international - and blow Manchester City out of the race for the former Bayern Munich frontman.

City have already had two bids for Santa Cruz turned down as Rovers desperately fight to hold on to their key striker.

But Villa have been encouraged to continue their quest to lure him away from Ewood Park by rumours of the 27-year-old's disenchantment at the Lancashire club.