Cardiff City have pulled off arguably the biggest transfer coup of the summer, signing Manchester City outcast Craig Bellamy on a season-long loan deal.
After falling out with manager Roberto Mancini and the club in the last couple of weeks, it was a formality that the well-traveled attacker would be on the move again. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had an open interest in the 31-year-old, who he unsuccessfully tried to sign in January 2009, when West Ham opted against doing business with their London rivals and instead sold him to City for £14m. Fulham were also linked with the Wales captain, as Bellamy had previously worked with new Fulham manager Mark Hughes at Blackburn in the 2005/06 season, and Celtic also contacted City about a second loan spell for Bellamy, who spent part of the 2004/05 season on loan at the club.
However, Bellamy is opting to drop down to the Championship with the Bluebirds and help them reach the Premier League. Bellamy was born and raised in Cardiff and supported Cardiff from childhood, and his wife and children live in Cardiff, so not only does the move allow him to play for his boyhood club, but it also allows him to spend more time with his family.
Cardiff are the ninth club of Bellamy’s colorful career, which has seen him score nearly 150 goals in more than 400 appearances for Norwich City, Coventry City, Newcastle United, Celtic, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, and Manchester City. Last season, he scored 11 goals and had 12 assists in all competitions, but City’s summer spending spree, along with his latest bout of controversy, have made it likely that Bellamy has played his last match for the Citizens.
Dave Jones’ side lost to Blackpool 3-2 in the Championship playoff final in May, and lost star midfielder Joe Ledley to a free transfer move to Celtic. But they’ve started the season with a draw and a win in their first two matches, and the arrival of Bellamy significantly boosts their chances of earning automatic promotion. .