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Where Might Craig Bellamy Land in January?

It should be plainly obvious to any football fan with half a brain that Craig Bellamy is looking at the front door.

From the moment that his fellow Welshman Mark Hughes was sacked at Manchester City, reports emerged that Bellamy was preparing to hand in a transfer request. Just days later, Bellamy and new boss Roberto Mancini reportedly clashed over Bellamy’s training regimen, which Hughes created to help Bellamy with a recurring knee problem. Mancini might plead ignorance to Bellamy’s knock and attempt to smooth things out with one of his new side’s top goal scorers, but the Italian’s reputation for being a “no-nonsense” manager would suggest that he won’t tolerate someone as combustable as Bellamy in his locker room for long — especially given Bellamy’s history of falling out with replacement managers.

This combination makes Bellamy a prime target in the January transfer window for any club looking to bolster its strike force. Despite Bellamy’s popularity at Eastlands, Man City has no shortage of attacking options and could use the cash from Bellamy’s sale to bolster its sagging defense. Perhaps the only question is where Bellamy might land.

I can immediately think of three clubs that might be interested in this player’s services.

1.) Tottenham Hotspur.

This appears to be early favorite. Harry Redknapp lost out to Hughes in his attempt to lure Bellamy away from West Ham a year ago, so it’s no surprise that this rumor has already emerged in the press. Redknapp seems keen to sell any striker at White Hart Lane that’s not named Crouch or Defoe, so he’ll need another option at forward. Bellamy’s pace and ability to play on the wings would also give Redknapp a bit more flexibility in team selection. Plus, Spurs’ European ambitions would suit Bellamy just fine, thank you.

2.) Liverpool.

Unlike his departure from Newcastle, Bellamy left Liverpool on fairly good terms and seemed to like Rafa Benitez well enough. He also remains popular with the Anfield faithful — many of whom probably wish they, too, could have a go at John Arne Riise with a 5-iron — so his return would likely be a welcome one. Liverpool remains short on options up front beyond Fernando Torres, and if Benitez could work Bellamy and his scoring into the lineup with Torres and Steven Gerrard, the Reds’ attack might instantly become more formidable than it’s been all season. That just might give the Reds a better chance of finishing 4th and retaining their Champions League status. Much like Redknapp, however, Benitez would have to sell players before he could buy Bellamy, which means if he’s interested in making this move, he would have to act quickly.

3.) Fulham.

Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, hasn’t shown any real interest in Bellamy. Perhaps he should. With Andy Johnson still injured and Fulham still looking for a proven goal scorer beyond the erratic (though currently in-form) Bobby Zamora, Bellamy might fit in quite nicely at Craven Cottage, where he could link up with Zamora, Clint Dempsey, Damien Duff and Danny Murphy to produce a more potent attack. Plus, unlike Tottenham, Fulham could offer Bellamy European football right now. The Cottagers have a date with Shakhtar Donetsk in February and a potential shot at Juventus in March. Those challenges might be appealing to Bellamy.

Of course, all three of these clubs might struggle to come up with the £10 million or more that will likely be required to pull Bellamy away from Eastlands. There’s little doubt, however, that this fiery forward wants out. He was loyal to Hughes where the club’s ownership was not, and a falling out with Mancini — which has potential to be as nasty as his falling out with Graeme Souness five years ago — seems as inevitable as a rainy English winter. Let’s just hope that in the meantime, the new manager has enough sense  to hide those golf clubs.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. HubGunner

    December 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Why not Arsenal? Ohh, I forgot, Bellamy isn’t from East Bumfu**istan.

  2. edgar

    December 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I would love to see Bellamy at Tottenham.

  3. epiblast

    December 24, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Bellamy should go where ever Mark Hughes goes. The lad was great at Blackburn Rovers and has seen a return to form under the Welshman at City. After failing to make an impact at Liverpool and West Ham, he seems only capable of good form under Hughes.

  4. Feed the Goat

    December 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    April 1st is still some months away either that or its written by a half wit living in La La land. Some clowns even think there is a word of truth in it.
    Let me spell it out for the morons.
    Bellamy is not leaving the richest club in the world for some tin pot outfit essentially because we have no reason to sell and we pay a fair wedge beyond anything the London based comedians can copper up.
    Dave Warner you should get out more and stop parading fiction as fact.

    • Dave

      December 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

      Man City pays with wedges? The WAGs are so gonna love that.

    • Dave

      December 23, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      Or did you mean pitching wedges? Because I don’t think you want those in the locker room near Craig Bellamy. Just sayin’.

  5. JOHNNY CROSSAN

    December 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    How can I put this kindly?

    I Can’t

    You are a nitwit

  6. Jason

    December 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Well as an American who has never been to England but likes the EPL. I’ve found Fulham to be my favorite team. Not particularly just because of the American involvment but when I first began following the EPL. Fulham was down in the 3rd tier (along with Man City), but they seemed to be the small club ready to challenge the big boys one day and I just liked that alot. I think its cool that over the past decade Fulham with fewer resources has been able to stay in lock step with Man City up the football ladder.

  7. Jason

    December 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Bellamy is another piece for Fulham’s diabolical plan to take over the world!!!

    • ovalball

      December 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Aaah, you spoiled it now. You weren’t supposed to tell. Go Whites!

  8. Jon

    December 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Ant has a point, you’ve taken account of the potential transfer cost it might take to buy Bellamy, but you haven’t mentioned his wages at all. That’s the problem with any of the players who might leave Eastlands at this point – they all were rewarded for signing with City with big wages increases. That’s great for them, but makes them untransferable to clubs who cannot afford those wages. So almost everyone then.

    Cheers,

    Jon

    • Dave

      December 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

      That’s a fair point, and it would certainly rule out Fulham. However, Spurs are looking to dump a fair amount of salary themselves in January, and I think getting Keano, Pav and Bentley off the books would cover the wages for Bellamy and leave enough room for a decent defender. So I wouldn’t call the wage bill a dealbreaker for Spurs just yet.

  9. bigbaz

    December 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    No doubt the twitching f**ker from spuds will try for a bargain,in fact hes probably tapped him up already,but i think when the dust settles he will stay put.

  10. Peter

    December 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Why is it when I suggest that Mark Hughes could come to Sheffield Wednesday everyone seems to laugh? If we could get Craig Bellamy we could give Man City Francis Jeffers, do you think they’ll be interested?

    Personally I think if we had a whipround the blue half of Sheffield we could all raise enough to shift him out of hillsborough.

    Up the Owls!

  11. ant

    December 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    cobblers they could not afford his wages.

  12. Andy

    December 23, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Listen you f**king sh**e mongering c**ts. Bells is staying at City.

    Do you think we would send him to Spurs or Liverpool – our main rivals? You lot read that Sean Cuntis at the Sun much too much

    Get a life

    • paul power

      December 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      Took the words out of my mouth, genius comment 🙂

    • Darren

      December 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm

      Wow, mature comment… you have issues

    • Lyle

      December 24, 2009 at 12:01 am

      Good point, well said.

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