Manchester City have failed with a bid in excess of £12 million for Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, City manager Mark Hughes has revealed.
Hughes signed Santa Cruz from Bayern Munich when he was in charge of Blackburn and has made the Paraguay forward his top target in the current transfer window. City first tried to sign the player in the close season and Hughes said he had gone back to his former club with a higher offer.
"We have made an improved bid, a substantial bid for Roque Santa Cruz but it was rejected," said Hughes. "We made a bid in the region of £12 million in the summer and it (the new bid) is significantly higher than that.
"But we still want to bring him to the club if we can but he is Blackburn's player and they don't want to deal at the level we have made a bid at. That is their prerogative."
Hughes also revealed approaches had been turned down for West Ham duo Scott Parker and Craig Bellamy. "We haven't gone back to the table on that one but we may well do," he said. Hughes denied that he had made an offer for Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given and played down speculation linking him with Juventus striker David Trezeguet.
The City boss was speaking after England defender Wayne Bridge, signed for £10 million from Chelsea, was presented to the media. Bridge, who played alongside Hughes when they were both at Southampton, said he had opted to move north because he could not see a future at Chelsea, where Ashley Cole is firmly established as first-choice left-back.
"No matter how well I played, I was never going to establish myself there," Bridge said. "I spoke to (Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe) Scolari but I'll leave that between me and him - and I left on a good note. Everyone was happy when an offer from Manchester City was put on the table - and for me it is a great opportunity to start playing week in week out."