Savarese confirms Cosmos’ chase for Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz over

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

The New York Cosmos were indeed in the hunt for Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz — so says Head Coach and Technical Director Giovanni Savarese.

“We were seriously interested in acquiring the player. He is a quality player,” Savarese said. “At the end, it didn’t advance to the point to be able to finalize the situation.”

Radio Marca in Spain first reported the Cosmos pursuit of Santa Cruz.

The 31-year-old Paraguayan striker is currently on contract through 2016 with Malaga. According to their report, the Cosmos were ready to offer a $2 million transfer fee to Malaga and a $2.7 million salary to Santa Cruz for the move.

“Do you believe everything that is always written?” Savarese said when asked about the reported fees.

While scoffing at the astronomical numbers reported in their chase, Savarese took the opportunity to explain the club’s stance on chasing high profile players.

“We are an organization that is willing to take some risks,” Savarese stated, “but we are an organization that understands in order to be somewhere, we have to build one step at a time. We need to make sure we make smart decisions. Even though we are going to go for players that can make a huge difference, we still have to be healthy mentally and as a club in order to get this club to where it needs to be and to make sure it goes on for many, many years.”

Subsequent reports killed the transfer rumor, with Malaga unwilling to entertain offers for the Paraguayan striker. Again, Savarese acknowledged the truth in said reports, but kept future options wide open.

“At this particular point, that is not a situation that could happen,” he said, adding, “but you never know. Things always change week to week.”