Craig Bellamy has been banned from Manchester City as speculation mounts that the Welsh forward is on the verge of a sensational move to Cardiff City.
Bellamy is now training with his hometown club, and both he and the Bluebirds have expressed their desire to manufacture a loan deal.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has ordered Bellamy to stay away from the City training ground, citing the forward as “disruptive” and “unprofessional”.
Bellamy is a player who has attracted controversy throughout his career, but the final straw seems to be the forward’s outspoken criticism of Mancini’s decision not to include him in City’s 25-man Premier League squad.
Following their 2-1 win at Derby, Cardiff are now 12/1 to clinch the Championship title this season, and signing a player of Bellamy’s calibre would be the biggest transfer coup in the club’s history.
The main stumbling block for a potential move to Cardiff, however, will be the player’s £95,000-a-week salary.
There is no way the Championship club could afford such an astronomical figure, and Bellamy’s current employers City are unwilling to keep paying his wages.
City would rather sell Bellamy on a permanent basis, with Fulham, Tottenham and Celtic all expressing their interest in signing the former Liverpool and West Ham marksman.
Mancini would be reluctant let Bellamy join City’s rivals for a Champions League spot, Tottenham. Instead, the Italian would favour a reunion between Bellamy and Fulham manager Mark Hughes, with whom the 31-year-old worked at Manchester City, Blackburn and Wales.