There are rules and regulations about tapping up players. Harry Redknapp may not have rung Craig Bellamy directly and said “Luv a duck, Craig, me old mucker, get yourself over to White Hart Lane,” but he might just as well have. He’s made it known that they have tabled one bid and will follow it up with a second. The first bid was a laughable £6 million. We paid £7 million for him, and presumably Redknapp doesn’t believe he has deteriorated as a player otherwise he wouldn’t want him. Indeed, he’s on the record as saying that he doesn’t want to buy anyone who isn’t better than the players he’s already got. Bearing in mind Bent cost £16 million and the Russian £14 million, Craig Bellamy must surely be rated by Redknapp in that bracket. OK, he’s a bit older, but he’s a proven player.
I have no inside information on this, but it is clear that if the Board are offered silly money – by which I mean £12 million or more – then they are going to consider it. Hopefully if he did go for that we then would not entertain bids for Matthew Upson or Robert Green. But what a big hole it would leave in our strike force. We have found goals hard enough to come by as it is, and a strike force of Cole/Tristan or Cole/Di Michele will not be strong enough.
It would be good to hear from Craig Bellamy himself that he is happy where he is and does not want to go. His silence so far, tells me he is keeping his options open. In some ways, he cannot be blamed for that.
Later on today I will publish the transfer section of my survey, which shows which players you all most want to keep.