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Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 11:20 UK

Manchester City deny blocking Tottenham's Bellamy bid

Premier League
Venue: City of Manchester Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 5 May 2010 Kick-off: 2000 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, local radio and Sky Sports 1


Craig Bellamy, Mark Hughes and Nigel de Jong
Bellamy is unveiled alongside Nigel de Jong by Mark Hughes in January 2009

Manchester City have strongly denied Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp's claims that they forced Spurs to drop their efforts to sign Craig Bellamy.

Redknapp claims City threatened to out-bid Tottenham for then-Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios if Spurs competed for West Ham's Bellamy in January 2009.

"City said: 'If you do not drop out of Bellamy, we are going to sign Palacios'," said Redknapp.

City have instructed their lawyers to look at Redknapp's comments.

"City have made a robust response, strongly denying the claims," said BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar.

"City say Wigan approached them offering Palacios, while Spurs were in mid-negotiation for him, and that they briefly considered, but swiftly rejected any move for him.

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"The Premier League say it is unlikely they will investigate the allegations."

Striker and Wales captain Bellamy moved to Manchester City from West Ham in a deal thought to be worth £14m on 19 January 2009, two days before Palacios completed a £12m switch to Tottenham.

"They said: "If you pull out of Bellamy, we will pull out of Palacios and then we both get a player," said Redknapp. "We had no choice really. They just said 'We will blow you out of the water'.

"They have got the backing, they have got the clout to do that, they can do it if they want somebody."

But at the time of the moves Mark Hughes, then Manchester City manager, rejected claims that the clubs had colluded to avoid bidding against each other for either player as "cheap shots".

Hughes bought another defensive midfielder, Nigel de Jong of Hamburg, on the same day Palacios sealed his move to Tottenham.

De Jong is one of a string of expensive acquisitions made by City since the Abu Dhabi United Group, backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, agreed a takeover on 1 September, 2008.

Wilson Palacios
Palacios (left) signed for Wigan from Deportivo Olimpia in January 2008

The club splashed out a British record £32.5m to sign Robinho from Real Madrid later the same day.

Strikers Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz were recruited last summer for a total of about £68m.

While Joleon Lescott, thought to have cost about £22m from Everton, and Kolo Toure, a £14m buy from Arsenal, were added in defence.

Spurs play City on Wednesday in a match that could decide fourth place in the table.

Redknapp's side travel to Eastlands in possession of the final Champions League qualification spot, with City just a point behind.

The match is the penultimate one of the season for both sides.

In the final round of games on Sunday, City travel to West Ham while Spurs face relegated Burnley.



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see also
Pressure on Man City - Redknapp
05 May 10 |  Premier League
Manchester City 0-1 Tottenham
05 May 10 |  Premier League
Bruce angry over Palacios switch
28 Jan 09 |  Wigan
Man City complete De Jong signing
21 Jan 09 |  Man City
Tottenham agree deal for Palacios
21 Jan 09 |  Tottenham
Man City complete Bellamy signing
19 Jan 09 |  Man City
Man City beat Chelsea to Robinho
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Arab group agrees Man City deal
01 Sep 08 |  Man City


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