Celtic have opened discussions with Manchester City over a loan move for Craig Bellamy, according to Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
The Welsh forward is coming off of his finest season in several years, as he scored 10 goals and assisted on eight more in 26 Premier League starts, along with notching a further four assists in City’s run to the Carling Cup semifinals and a goal in the FA Cup.
However, he has had a strained relationship with manager Roberto Mancini, and the former Newcastle star is in hot water again after drawing the ire of the club following comments involving his potential exclusion from Mancini’s 25-man Premier League squad. As a result of those comments, Bellamy was fined 160,000 pounds and was also left out of City’s squad for next week’s Europa League qualifier against Romanian side Timisoara.
The situation has also thrown Bellamy’s future at City in serious doubt, and Celtic are looking to offer the 31-year old a fresh start in what would be his second loan stint at the club.
In the 2004/05 season, Bellamy went on loan from Newcastle to Celtic, and he played a starring role, scoring nine goals in 15 appearances. Lennon, who was a teammate of Bellamy’s during his loan spell, confirmed that he was looking to link up with the 31-year old again.
He said, “When you see someone of the calibre of Craig and the fact that he’s not in the 25 and he’s looking to go out and play football, then we feel it’s something that we can’t try and miss out on.”
“We’ve been speaking to his representatives and we’ve been speaking to Man City. How far down the line we are will be down to Craig obviously.”
“But the advantage we have is that, one, it’s not in the Premier League and, two, he has been here before and he enjoyed his time here and made a huge mpact on the game up here and has a real connection with the supporters.”