Bellamy completes Cardiff loan switch

Craig Bellamy today insisted there were no hard feelings about his departure from Manchester City and he moved to Cardiff to "come home".

There has been speculation about the striker's future since he revealed ahead of Wales' match against Luxembourg last week he was not going to be included in City's 25-man Premier League squad.

Top-flight clubs in England and Scotland were lining up to sign Bellamy but today it was confirmed he will drop down to the npower Championship with his home-town club on a season-long loan.

Bellamy told today's press conference: "Nothing's difficult about this. I had the greatest time at Manchester City at a great period in their history.

"I was bought to take the club on to the next stage and I feel I played a big part in doing that. The players they're signing are incredible.

"The next couple of years I'm sure they'll get the Premier League title, and I hope they do."

Bellamy refused to comment on reports City would not allow him to join a rival Premier League club but praised manager Roberto Mancini.

"There's no ill feeling," added the 31-year-old. "I hope he does well, he's a top manager."

Bellamy explained the chance to spend more time with his family was his primary motivation for joining Cardiff, and he does not expect to have it easy in the second tier.

"My wide and kids live here and I've spent the last six years travelling up and down the road," he said. "I left home at 15. I've always wanted to come back but I wanted to come back at the top of my game.

"I've come down to the Championship willing to put my neck on the line. It's probably the hardest football decision I'll have to make in my career.

"I grew up in this league and it's tough, and that gives me excitement as well. It's a great challenge for me."

Bellamy continued: "With the players we have I think we've got to be looking at promotion.

"I've been in the Premier League for 10 years now and probably now I'm at the height of my career.

"I feel in great condition but the next couple of weeks is going to be difficult - but that would have been the case wherever I'd gone.

"I don't mind dipping into the Championship for a year but hopefully I want to bring this club back to the Premier League. I've always watched Cardiff, whenever I've had an opportunity.

"I have been able to train here and Cardiff have always kept the door available to me - I know the set-up so it's just a very happy time for me."

The Bluebirds missed out on promotion to the top flight of English football when they were beaten by Blackpool in May's Championship play-off final.

And Bellamy continued at the press conference, televised by Sky Sports News: "It will be big for south Wales if we get back to the Premier League. Even if Swansea got up it would be great for us in this country. Young kids would get the chance to see great players."

He joked: "Dave (manager, Jones) being will be nice to come home without him being at my doorstep. That will be a relief. I'll get to see him every day now."

Jones revealed he had been considering a swoop for Bellamy for much of the summer.

Jones said: "We've been talking about this behind closed doors for a few months.

"I wanted to make sure he was coming for all the right reasons, not just because his family's here but to help this club achieve what we all want.

"To get a player of his calibre is a massive coup for the football club. This just doesn't happen.

"The pressure will be on us. The next stage is for this club to be promoted, that's what we're trying to do."

Jones also claimed Bellamy would have no guarantees that he would always be in the starting line-up.

"He's up for the competition," added the Bluebirds boss. "He doesn't expect to come here and put a shirt on and however he plays stay in the side."

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