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Craig Bellamy

John Simkin

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Report in this morning's Times:


Craig Bellamy was in confrontation with West Ham United last night after he was refused permission to talk to Tottenham Hotspur. The Wales forward made a verbal transfer request and said goodbye to staff after a meeting with Scott Duxbury, the chief executive, yesterday. Bellamy, who did not train and cleared some items from his locker at the training ground, has refused to play against Fulham tomorrow.

West Ham have turned down three bids from Tottenham – the latest being an initial £10 million, rising to £12 million – and say that they have offered Bellamy a new long-term deal. If forced to let him go, the East London club would probably prefer to sell him to Manchester City, who have also had three bids turned down. However, the player does not appear to want to move his family again and he may also believe that Mark Hughes, whom he is close to, will not be City manager beyond this season.

West Ham believe that Bellamy, 29, should honour his commitment to play for the club after they helped him through stomach and groin injuries last season. West Ham have serious concerns about Tottenham’s pursuit of Bellamy after a media report said that the player had met a representative of Spurs on Thursday night.

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, denied tapping up any players, but his club have been criticised by Middlesbrough, for their pursuit of Stewart Downing, and by Sunderland, for their interest in Kenwyne Jones. If proved, it could embarrass Tottenham, who complained about how Liverpool and Manchester United tried to sign Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov respectively in the summer.

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If Bellamy is sold, West Ham will re-invest the funds to find a replacement and are understood to have a list of potential targets in addition to, according to sources in Italy, taking 23-year-old striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo on loan from Fiorentina. (The Independent):

You can see him in action here:

He looks good on video but his record is not too impressive. He played his first Serie A match for Fiorentina on September 29, 2007, scoring two goals in a 3–0 away win to Livorno. Since then he has only played in 16 more games and added only three more goals. He is currently out of the team and has only played two games this season (no goals).

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