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Malaga sign striker Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz has signed a three-year deal with Spanish side Malaga. The Paraguay striker, 31, joins the La Liga club on a free transfer after being released by Manchester City. Santa Cruz scored eight goals in 31 league games on loan at Malaga under new City boss Manuel Pellegrini last season. He also played 10 times in the Champions League, scoring the goal against FC Porto at La Rosaleda that took the club into the quarter-finals. (external) Santa Cruz joined Blackburn Rovers from Bundesliga side Bayern Munich for £3.8m in 2007, then former Rovers boss Mark Hughes signed him for Manchester City two years later. He struggled with injuries early in his City career, and did not score his first league goals for the club until December 2009, in the 4-3 win over Sunderland that proved to be Hughes's last game in charge. His appearances under Roberto Mancini were restricted and, in total, he played only 20 league games for City, scoring three goals. He had an unsuccessful four-month loan spell at Blackburn Rovers in early 2011, before joining Real Betis on a season-long loan in August 2011.