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Fulham boss Mark Hughes keen to sign Craig Bellamy

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Dembele set for Fulham move - Hughes

Fulham manager Mark Hughes says he is interested in signing Manchester City's out-of-favour striker Craig Bellamy.

"Yes, I'd be interested in signing Craig," said Hughes. "He's one of the top players in the Premier League."

City boss Roberto Mancini confirmed on Friday Bellamy would not make their 25-man Premier League squad and that the 31-year-old should find a new club.

Hughes has signed Bellamy twice before, at Blackburn and City, and was also his manager when in charge of Wales.

Speaking before Mancini confirmed Bellamy would not make City's Premier League squad, Hughes added: "If he comes on the market, and if we're in the position where we can conclude a deal for Craig Bellamy, then yes we would be very interested.

"It seems that Manchester City won't be using Craig at Premier League level, so from his point of view it is very important that he makes the right decision for his career.

"A wrong decision at this point in time could hurt him, so I wish him well in what decision he takes."

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Fulham are the latest club to take an interest in Bellamy, with Celtic keen to take the forward on loan for a second time, while he has also been linked with Sunderland and Tottenham.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp reiterated his regard for the striker on Friday, saying: "He is an outstanding player and if he is available he would certainly be of interest to us."

Bellamy, who had a four-month spell with Celtic in 2005 while on the books of Newcastle, is surplus to requirements at Eastlands after a summer of heavy spending.

After being cut from Mancini's squad for the Europa League earlier this week, Bellamy said a failure to make the 25-man list in the league might cause him to quit football.

"I have to choose 25," said Mancini. "The rest must find another team. Craig is out of the list."

Bellamy has scored 15 goals for Manchester City in 51 appearances since joining from West Ham in a £14m transfer in January 2009.

Fuham are also chasing AZ Alkmaar striker Moussa Dembele, with Hughes suggesting a deal is imminent.

The Belgian's arrival for around £5m would be a welcome after Andy Johnson's knee injury meant that Fulham had to rely on makeshift striker Zoltan Gera to partner Bobby Zamora up front last season.

Hughes was at the Premier League on Thursday trying to secure a work permit for Dembele, who had also attracted the interest of Birmingham.

"We have made some progress with Moussa," he said. "We hope that he will be in London by the close of play to do a medical, although it hasn't been fully signed off by his club yet."



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see also
Man City complete Balotelli deal
13 Aug 10 |  Man City
Celtic bond cannot sway Bellamy
17 Aug 10 |  Celtic
I could quit football - Bellamy
10 Aug 10 |  Man City
Mancini denies new Bellamy rift
23 Apr 10 |  Man City


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