City boss Mark Hughes plans to make a £15million bid for Santa Cruz in January, but United star’s want him to move to Old Trafford instead.
United defender Danny Simpson, who is currently on loan at Blackburn, said: “Roque Santa Cruz is up there with regards to the best player I have ever played with.
“The lads at Manchester United are always asking me about him as well and how good he really is.
“He was linked with United, wasn’t he? So the other lads were interested in what he had.
“Roque is world class. He is a great finisher and is powerful.”