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Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 18:09 UK

Celtic bond not enough to sway Craig Bellamy

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Bellamy delighted to 'come home' to Cardiff

A strong bond with Celtic was not enough to dissuade Craig Bellamy from joining hometown club Cardiff City.

Celtic were among the clubs chasing the Manchester City forward who has agreed a season-long loan with the Bluebirds.

"I'm always going to be close to Celtic because one of my best friends in football is Neil Lennon," said Bellamy.

"I've got a great feeling for Celtic. It's an incredible club and I was very fortunate to be involved at that club at one stage in my career."

The 31-year-old was with the Glasgow side for four months in 2005, while a Newcastle player - scoring nine goals and lifting a Scottish Cup winner's medal.

He played alongside Lennon at that time and now that he is managing the club, the former midfielder was hoping to lure Bellamy back for a second spell.

However, Bellamy is now looking forward to helping Cardiff in their bid to win promotion to the English Premier League.

I would love to have seen him sign for Celtic because he is a great player

Former Celtic striker John Hartson

"They (Celtic) understood the reasons I wanted to come home and when I explained to every club why I was doing it I didn't get a call back.

"They knew why I was doing it and they knew I wasn't going to change my mind. I was content with the choice I had made."

Former Celtic striker John Hartson told the BBC: "I would love to have seen him sign for Celtic because he is a great player.

"There will be a lot of disappointed managers out there. Craig is still a world-class player.

Bellamy move not a snub - Brown

"I saw him play last week for Wales and he hasn't lost a yard of his pace. He is still really sharp."

In recent weeks Celtic have also failed in their attempts to bring Premier League stars Sol Campbell and David James to the club.

Hartson, however, believes the club can compete with big-spending clubs in England on occasion.

"They will try to push the boat out for the odd one or two, like they did with Robbie Keane last year," he said.

"For the great players, I think Celtic would find the finances. They can't do it right throughout the squad because financially they haven't got it but for the real top-class players who are going to make a difference, I'm sure Neil would find the money somewhere."

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Club captain Scott Brown says Bellamy's decision is no reflection on the standing of the Scottish Premier League.

"I think it was more personal reasons for him not coming to Celtic. He just wants to go home and play in Wales," said the midfielder.

"If you come to Parkhead and Ibrox and you see the fans and the games that we play, the games are decent to watch.

"We saw that with Hibs and Motherwell last year as well, in the game that finished 6-6.

"It's interesting to watch and, if folk don't want to come here, that's not our problem.

"With Craig, it was for personal reasons."



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see also
Bellamy moves to Cardiff on loan
17 Aug 10 |  Cardiff
Defender Majstorovic joins Celtic
16 Aug 10 |  Celtic
Fulham admit interest in Bellamy
13 Aug 10 |  Fulham
I could quit football - Bellamy
10 Aug 10 |  Man City
Mancini denies new Bellamy rift
23 Apr 10 |  Man City


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