Man City targetting West Ham's Bellamy?

August 26, 2008
By Phil Holland

Manchester City are set to address their striker deficiency by launching a surprise bid for West Ham's Craig Bellamy, according to reports.

EmpicsCraig Bellamy: Joining Mark Hughes in Manchester if medical is completed.

With Darius Vassell and Benjani both injured and new Brazilian signing Jo only just returning from the Olympics, City have limited attacking options with rookies Ched Evans and Daniel Sturridge the club's only other strikers.

UK newspaper The Guardian claims Hughes will table a £8.4million bid for Bellamy, who played just seven games for the Hammers last season in an injury-plagued campaign.

However, West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury insists the club have 'absolutely no intention' of selling Bellamy who 'remains a very important part of our plans for the future.'

It would not be the first time Hughes and Bellamy have worked together, with the City boss having previously managed the temperamental striker successfully at Blackburn Rovers, where Bellamy hit 17 goals in 32 games, and at international level with Wales.

Although no stranger to controversy there can be little doubt that the 29-year-old is a potent striker, having scored goals at each of his many clubs.

At present he has played 356 games and notched 124 goals, better than one in three. The only disappointing spell in his career came at Liverpool where Bellamy only managed to hit nine goals in 42 appearances; although he has played a total of just nine games for West Ham following his £7.5million move to Upton Park from Anfield in 2007 he found the net four times.

So far this summer Hughes has spent around £30million acquiring three players - Brazilian forward Jo, Tal Ben-Haim and Vincent Kompany, both central defenders - but failed with a move to lure Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn.

City are also being linked with a move for out-of-favour Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, but could face a challenge from Everton.

Wright-Phillips, who has played under three different managers at Stamford Bridge, has been told his first-team chances are limited under current boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The one-time England international is thought to have reservations about rejoining City following his £21million move to Chelsea, while Everton could offer UEFA Cup football.

Meanwhile, West Ham are set to lose the services of Anton Ferdinand with Sunderland boss Roy Keane confirming that the central defender was having a medical at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

Keane said: 'Anton is up today for a medical and we hope to get that tied up. I met him last week and it went well. He will be a good addition to our squad and it will keep people on their toes.'

The England Under-21 international is valued at around £8million and will become Sunderland ninth summer signing.