West Ham and City still at odds over Bellamy fee

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The Independent Online

West Ham United and Manchester City remain a huge distance apart on their valuation of Craig Bellamy – the Hammers wanting around £15m, with Gianfranco Zola the ultimate arbiter on whether he will leave.

Bellamy appears to want out of Upton Park and though he prefers the idea of a move to Tottenham to City, Mark Hughes' buying power appears to leave him the most likely to secure his countryman. A £15m bid would be a huge deal for a 29-year-old – albeit one who is returning to form – and in readiness for a revised bid from Eastlands, the club has a short list of three Italian strikers as a contingency.

City are endeavouring to be as realistic as they can in their bids. Hughes has been told that the reputations of the club's senior executives are on the line and they cannot just move in and blow every other club out of the water. But since City are the only club bidding for Bellamy the prospect of them signing him seems good. For now he has been told he is under contract.

Luis Boa Morte has been given permission to speak with Hull City, who are hoping a £2m bid will bring him to the KC Stadium.

City still have a separate galactico style list, with the search for a player from it running parallel to Hughes' hunt for proven Premier League performers. Milan's £100m-rated Brazilian Kaka remains top of that list. The club have been told to start their bidding at £10m for Newcastle United 'keeper Shay Given.

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