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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 28, 2006

Hughes won't be drawn on Bellamy clause

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes is refusing to acknowledge whether striker Craig Bellamy has a £6million escape clause in his contract.

However, despite apparent interest from Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Spurs, the Wales international appears happy with life at Ewood Park.

Snapped up for £5million from Newcastle last summer after a fall-out with then boss Graeme Souness, Bellamy has hit the goals trail for Rovers this season, scoring 17 in 30 appearances.

Such stunning form, and if the clause does exist, could make for an awkward summer for Hughes.

When asked, Hughes replied: 'Everybody seems to want to discuss my players and their situations, but to be perfectly honest, I don't particularly want to go there.

'There are a lot of very good players at very good clubs elsewhere, but they don't seem to get the coverage of their situation as much as the likes of Craig, so why add to it.

'Craig signed a four-year deal, and that's the situation. We fully expect him to stay here for the four years.'

But after a turbulent time on Tyneside, Bellamy has found peace with Blackburn.

'We're a sound club. We're not a glamour club. We get on with our business and try to do as well as we can,' said Bellamy in a recent interview on TalkSport 'It's well run. This is the best-run club I've been at, from the chairman downwards. It's just incredible.

'We've an incredible chairman [John Williams], he's an incredible man, and it's just a joy to work for such people.'

Rovers head to Charlton tomorrow looking to end a run of four games without a win that has resulted in their bid for Champions League football falling by the wayside.

Hughes' side, though, remain on course for a UEFA Cup spot, with Bellamy looking for a strong end to the season to not only clinch a place in Europe, but to ensure they start next term on the right foot.

'We have players who have played in nearly every game this season and that's a lot to ask of everyone,' added Bellamy.

'When you get to this stage of the season it becomes so vital.

'You need to kick on because you want to finish strongly, not just for this season but for the start of next season as well because it will have an effect.

'If we end up finishing poorly this season then we'll start off poorly next season. I've been there before with Newcastle and seen it.'

It is looking increasingly unlikely Paul Dickov will be one of his front-line partners for next season as the 33-year-old has yet to sign a new deal.

Dickov is out of contract in the summer, with former club Manchester City among those linked with the Scot, who has scored seven goals this season - but not since January 2.

Hughes has warned Dickov the club will not be prepared to wait too much longer for an answer on whether he stays or goes.

'Paul is at liberty to look at all his options,' added Hughes.

'Our contract offer is still on the table, although I'm sure at some point we'll have to make a decision on how long it stays there.

'But at the moment it's there, and until Paul tells me differently, that's the situation as it stands.

'As yet we've had no contact from any club regarding any of our players - and I don't expect any.'

Hughes has Tugay back in the fold for the clash at The Valley after more than three weeks out with a calf injury, while Paul Gallagher returns to the squad after a season-long loan with Stoke.

Hughes, though, is without skipper and centre-back Andy Todd due to a knee cartilage problem sustained in the 2-1 defeat at Birmingham nine days ago that could yet require surgery.

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