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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
West Ham seal 7.5m Bellamy deal
Craig Bellamy (left) with West Ham manager Alan Curbishley
Bellamy (left) hopes for more first-team football under Curbishley
West Ham have completed the signing of striker Craig Bellamy from Liverpool for a club record 7.5m.

The 27-year-old Wales captain has signed a five-year contract after just one season at Anfield.

"I wanted to make sure that, if I left Liverpool, it would be to a club that is going to be pushing for Europe," Bellamy told the West Ham website.

"I want to play in Europe, it's important to me, and I felt that same drive and ambition here at West Ham."

Bellamy's departure from Liverpool follows the Reds' signings of forwards Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin.

The former Norwich, Coventry and Newcastle star arrived at Anfield in a 6m deal from Blackburn and scored nine goals in 42 appearances.


Bellamy's move was delayed because of a private contractual dispute with Liverpool, which has since been resolved.

There seemed to be little doubt that he would be shown the exit door this summer after Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez dropped at hint at the unveiling of Torres.

Spaniard Torres was added to a strikeforce including Voronin, Crouch and Dirk Kuyt, meaning Bellamy - and Djibril Cisse, who has joined Marseille - had to make way because they were surplus to requirements.

"Obviously it would be nave of me to say that we are going to qualify for the Champions League next season, but that's one thing we are really going to be pushing for here in the future," added Bellamy.

"The club is looking to strengthen what is already a very good squad, and West Ham are renowned for their open and attacking football, so everything is perfect for me."

I could sit at Liverpool as a squad player all day long, picking up my money, playing every now and then, but I'd be cheating myself and my personality

Craig Bellamy

Bellamy cited the increased chance of first-team football as one of the reason for leaving Liverpool and believes the Hammers will reap the benefit of his indifferent spell on Merseyside.

"I had a great experience at Liverpool and I believe West Ham will benefit this year, because I know I am a better player for it," he says.

"I supported Liverpool as a boy and would have had the chance to play Champions League football again next season.

"But I needed to look beyond that, in the same way that Lucas Neill did when he came here.

"I understood Lucas's position. If he'd joined Liverpool, he would have been a squad player, like I was.

"Some people don't understand it, but the opportunity to be a senior figure at an ambitious club like West Ham is very attractive.

"It was important for me to start playing regular football. I could sit at Liverpool as a squad player all day long, picking up my money, playing every now and then, but I'd be cheating myself and my personality."

Cisse seals switch to Marseille
07 Jul 07 |  Liverpool
Roberts defends put-upon Bellamy
20 Jun 07 |  Premier League
Garcia seals Atletico Madrid move
03 Jul 07 |  Liverpool


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