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Daily Mirror

Craig Bellamy walks out on West Ham as he demands Tottenham switch

Craig Bellamy last night dramatically walked out on West Ham after demanding a £12m move to Tottenham.

The Welsh striker, 29, is now REFUSING to play in West Ham's London derby with Fulham tomorrow after an incredible bust-up.

Bellamy cleared out his locker at the training ground yesterday morning, asked for a transfer, did not train and told chief executive Scott Duxbury in a fierce meeting that he wanted to join Spurs after they lodged a £12m bid.

Duxbury responded by offering Bellamy a new five-year contract to keep him at West Ham for the rest of his career but the fiery star angrily stormed out.

It leaves West Ham now accepting defeat in trying to keep bad boy Bellamy at Upton Park - but they are refusing to do business with Tottenham, opening the way for Manchester City to add him to their growing armoury.

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola admits there is little he can do to persuade the former Liverpool and Newcastle man to stay in east London after his latest outburst.

"I respect Craig and I am disappointed he doesn't want to stay.

But I only want players here that want to be here. I need players who are committed to what we're doing.

"The club is above everybody and it's important to stay committed to it.

"I spoke about Craig a week ago because I think highly about him but it's his choice. He knows what he can get here but if he thinks he can't get what he wants here then that's up to him."

They believe that Bellamy has already held secret talks with Spurs and was due to meet them again yesterday afternoon to discuss a move.

But West Ham have knocked back Tottenham's £12m bid - which is a £10m down payment rising to £12m on appearances - and are now willing to sell to City for a straight £12m cash deal.

It is an ugly spat between the two Premier League rivals and Tottenham are once again caught in the middle of a "tapping-up" storm.

Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia accused Tottenham of "making sure the whole world knows" about their transfer targets after angrily turning down their bid for striker Kenwyne Jones.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has also openly admitted his admiration for Bellamy, that he wanted to re-sign Jermain Defoe and that he likes Stewart Downing which infuriated Middlesbrough who are also refusing to deal with Tottenham.

But Redknapp responded last night, insisting that he had done nothing wrong and nor had Tottenham and claimed Jose Mourinho had done exactly the same by claiming he wanted to sign Jermaine Jenas.

Redknapp said: "We haven't tapped anyone up. Who has ever spoken to anyone at Sunderland? Why has their head been turned? All that's happened is that Daniel Levy spoke to Niall Quinn and asked if they'd sell Kenwyne Jones.

"Am I getting upset because suddenly Mourinho says he wants Jenas? I don't want to sell Jenas. End of story.

"Where does it all come from? I see us linked with all these players and that's not coming from us. Every player I have spoken about is in the newspapers and that means someone at this club is passing information on. Who? Someone tell me.

"I don't want to work like that. I haven't done anything wrong. If Craig Bellamy says he wants to go to Tottenham because someone has told him we've made an offer and so have Man City, that's up to him. It's not my fault."

Bellamy had a similar acrimonious exit from Newcastle but his agent refused to comment last night.

Nov 2001: Sent home from training trip in Marbella and fined along with three Newcastle team-mates after missing a club dinner.

March 2004: Throws a chair at Newcastle assistant boss John Carver in row at Newcastle Airport.

Jan 2005: Fined £80,000 by Graeme Souness for calling the then Newcastle boss a liar.

April: On loan at Celtic, he sends abusive texts to Alan Shearer. One allegedly said: "Your legs are gone. You're too old. You're too slow."

Sept 2006: After signing for Liverpool, rows in tunnel with Newcastle coach Terry McDermott.

Feb 2007: Bellamy attacks teammate John Arne Riise with golf club at Portugal's Vale do Lobo. The fracas arose because Riise would not sing at a karaoke session.


Well, he's not playing for West Ham today after all.

This is seriously unprofessional from Bellamy but it's no surprise. He's an arrogant troublemaker.

He's certainly not worth £12m imo, so West Ham will have a great deal if they get the £12m for him.

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Why do clubs continue to go after this hot-headed maniac?

He's good, but he's trouble for any dressing room. Attacking your team mates with a golf club?

Anyway, West Ham are coasting 3-1 against Fulham without him and they could take that money and buy somebody of his calibre. Maybe not british, but they could get someone.
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