August 19, 2014
WON'T ROQUE THE CASBAH
Cosmos looked to bring in striker Santa Cruz before move broke down, says Savarese
By Matthew Levine
The Cosmos continually to search for a striker and it appears they are looking to fill that void with an international name. The club targeted Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz to take up the goal-scoring mantle, but a deal couldn’t be reached.
Reports emanated out of Spain recently of the Cosmos interest in the Paraguayan international, who has spent time at Bayern Munich, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City. Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese Tuesday confirmed interest in Santa Cruz as well as the deal never getting to the advanced stages.
“Yes, there is truth in that report that we were seriously interested in acquiring the player. He is a quality player. At the end, it didn’t advance to the point of being able to finalize the situation,“ Savarese said on his weekly conference call.
The Cosmos reportedly were willing to pay $2 million dollars for the transfer as well as match his $2.7 million in wages. That would have been a steep price to pay for the North American Soccer League club for a 32-year-old striker not lighting up La Liga as well as being injury-prone.
Savarese shrugged off the amount the Cosmos were possibly willing to shell out for the striker.
“Do you believe in everything that is always written?” he said.
The Cosmos aren’t averse to making a splash signing if it’s the right situation. Raul, who is still constantly linked, is one step out of the Asian Champions League with Al-Sadd’s 1-0 loss in the first leg.
“We are an organization that is willing to take risks, but we are an organization that in order to be somewhere we need to build at one step at a time,” Savarese said.
“We need to make sure that we make smart decisions and even though we are going to go for players that can make a huge difference, we still need to be healthy as a club in order to be able to get this club to where it needs to be and make sure it lasts for many, many years.”
As Savarese often has done, he left the door open for a potential move for the Paraguayan striker somewhere down the line. For now, the Cosmos will need to look elsewhere to find the goal-scorer they require.
“At this particular point, it’s not a situation that could happen, but you never know," he said. "Things always change week to week, but at this point the reports were right."