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Bellamy edging closer to Cardiff switch

Cardiff are close to sealing the capture of Manchester City's out-of-favour striker Craig Bellamy, according to reports.

Bellamy has been told he can leave Eastlands by City manager Roberto Mancini, with Cardiff emerging as a strong contender to sign the 31-year-old. And while Cardiff would not confirm a deal had been agreed with Bellamy, it is thought he could complete a loan move on Monday.

A Cardiff spokesman said: "With the number and the names of the clubs being mentioned in connection to Craig it is flattering that we are an option, but at this stage it is pure speculation. Being connected to a player of this calibre shows how far we have come, to be even considered in a deal like this. We would love it to happen of course, but we are by no means alone in this.''

Bellamy suggested earlier in the week that he would be open to a move to club he supported as a boy. At a press conference in Cardiff prior to Wales' friendly against Luxembourg, he said: "I have always wanted to play for Cardiff. I've never been shy in saying that.

"My wife and kids live here, I've missed them now for the last five or six years, so that would have more of a pull to me than most. I will have to wait and see and see what options are possible but I certainly wouldn't rule it out. Would I love to get Cardiff City to the Premier League? Of course I would. I feel I'd have more of an impact doing that than playing 100 games for Wales. For us to move forward as a nation football-wise, we need a Premier League team.''

Cardiff manager Dave Jones has also spoken of his desire to lure Bellamy to south Wales, but admitted the club were likely to face stiff competition for the player's signature.

Speaking after his side's 2-1 victory at Derby on Saturday, Jones said: "If it happens, it would be fantastic and we would all love him to be here but there are bigger fish for him.''

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