Craig Bellamy has revealed he has not spoken to Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for 18 months - and blames the Italian's man-management style for the breakdown in communication.
The 31-year-old striker - expected to be left behind when City's first-team squad fly to Los Angeles for pre-season training today - claims his career prospects at Eastlands stalled within days of Mancini being installed as successor to Mark Hughes in December 2009.
He claimed: "At present I expect to go back there and stay the whole year. And if Mancini is still there I'll probably do very little. Obviously I won't be involved with him and the first team.
"It was tough (when Hughes left) - it was like losing someone. It was probably as bad as losing a family member in some ways. I even struggled to eat for a few days.
"It was a totally different structure which affected me completely. Mancini told me to stay with the team all the time. We had longer training sessions, but with no intensity whatsoever.
"He seemed to know my knee better than I knew it myself. He tried to explain why I had problems with it and what I should do about it. When I told him my knee was hurting, he tried to tell me it wasn't.
"Mancini wanted me to come in another day and do some work - but I told him I'd finished my work that day, that I was keeping to my own schedule.
"That was when he started about my programme, that I couldn't follow my own schedule while he was the manager - and that I had to do what he was telling me.
"He said 'if you don't you can go back home now. And don't come in again'. I replied 'okay, no problem, I'm going home then'. That was a week after he'd arrived - and then he never spoke to me again."
Bellamy, who has a year remaining on his City contract, spent last season on loan at hometown club Cardiff but does not want another loan move, preferring a permanent move away from Eastlands.
He continued in the Daily Telegraph: "If they pay me the final year of my wages, then I'm sure I can go wherever I want. In that case my first option would be Cardiff."
However, a pay cut does not appeal, as he added: "I have my own academy in Sierra Leone, where I have to take care of 13 children, day in, day out. My wages are more important to them than they are for me."Reuse content