Bellamy Turned Up The Heat On Mancini

Criag Bellamy turned up the heat on Roberto Mancini on Tuesday as he became the second Manchester City player in the space of 24 hours to publicly challenge his manager. Bellamy accused the City boss of trying to drive him out of Eastlands, and admitted they have not spoken since a bust-up in February. He claimed Mancini had tried to force him to join Wolfsburg and was now unlikely to include him in City's 25-man Premier League squad, leaving Bellamy so disillusioned he might quit the game for good. The outspoken attack is deeply embarrassing for Mancini, coming a day after goalkeeper Shay Given threatened to demand a move if he is left out of the starting line-up for Saturday's opening game at Spurs.

Bellamy said, "I'm probably more unwanted than I've ever been. I find myself in a situation that's hard to get my head around. I've felt that I'm being pushed aside there - I will remember this. With this 25-man rule, if I don't get in I don't know what I will do. If I'm not on the list, which is unlikely, then the only games I will get is with the reserves. I've got a fair indication of what they all think though, as I've had 80 minutes in pre-season. I've even seen players not part of the club over the last three years get more minutes than me. I'm so dejected and disheartened I could even walk away from the game."

Bellamy, 31, was signed by his former Wales and Blackburn boss Mark Hughes in January 2009 for £14million, but his relationship with Mancini has been uneasy from the start, culminating in the row over training six months ago. Carlos Tevez also questioned his manager's methods last season, and Bellamy claimed the Argentina striker is another player who rarely talks to Mancini. "I haven't spoken to the manager since February. There are a number of players, like Tevez and me, who he doesn't speak to and keeps us away. I'm not sure if it's personal. Maybe it's the way he deals with things and it's his manner," said Bellamy. ''

Tottenham remain favourites to sign Bellamy, but the deal has been complicated because they want him on loan and City would prefer he did not play for a rival club. The Wales winger was mentioned as a potential makeweight in James Milner's player-plus-cash move from Aston Villa and Everton and Celtic have expressed an interest, while Hughes may yet try to take him to Fulham. Bellamy, who has not ruled out joining his hometown club Cardiff, confirmed he has rejected Wolfsburg and claimed Mancini tried to push him towards Germany to help with City's bid for striker Edin Dzeko.

"I've turned down Wolfsburg. They are the only club they tried to push me into. They wanted Dzeko, so were pushing for a deal and wanted me to go the other way. It's not for me. 'But I've had my most offers ever and felt more wanted elsewhere. It's obvious Tottenham have tried for me but Man City have declined. There have been two clubs in the top seven who have tried to get me. Man City obviously want me to go, but not to one of their rivals. Whatever people think about me, I've just come back off my best year in football. I got double figures in goals and double figures in assists, and that's all as a midfielder. Enough said. I'm desperate to stay as we're building a team for the title, but it's out of my hands," added Bellamy.

Source: Press Association

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