English League 2

Shrimpers trigger Bentley clause

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Wed, 03 Jul 2013 12:59:00

Roque Santa Cruz claims to have snubbed offers from Germany and Turkey in favour of heading for Italy and Bologna.

The Paraguayan striker is available as a free agent after reaching the end of his contract at Manchester City.

He has spent time on loan in Spain over recent years, taking in spells at Real Betis and Malaga.

Numerous clubs are believed to have put offers to the 31-year-old this summer, but he has revealed that his preference is to take on a new challenge in Serie A.

Santa Cruz told Corriere dello Sport: "We are one step away from a positive solution.

"I think the talks with Bologna will have a positive ending. I have every confidence there will be no major problems.

"I have already told the German club (that were interested) that my first choice is Bologna.

"I like their offer and the economic aspect is not essential for me. I'm more interested in the way of life for me and my family, and Bologna is a beautiful city.

"I've also had an offer from Turkey, but I have chosen Italy and I hope a deal will be closed in the next few hours."

Bentley's existing deal expired this summer but the Shrimpers held a further one-year extension clause which has tied him down at Roots Hall for the forthcoming season.

However, the League Two club remain keen to strike fresh terms with the 19-year-old and keep him in Essex beyond 2014.

Bentley, who rose through the youth ranks to enjoy his first-team debut in October 2011, made nine starts last term and a further two appearances off the bench in his most successful campaign to date although Paul Smith dominated between the sticks.

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