Irons warn City over Bellamy bid

PUBLISHED: 11:42 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:58 05 October 2010

West Ham have warned Manchester City that it will take an 'extraordinary' offer to prise Craig Bellamy away from Upton Park after rejecting a second bid for the striker

By Jonathan Clegg

West Ham have warned Manchester City that it will take an 'extraordinary' offer to prise Craig Bellamy away from Upton Park after rejecting a second bid for the striker this week.

The club's determination to hold on to Bellamy was underlined on Tuesday when West Ham knocked back City's £9.5m offer for the striker, who has emerged as a leading target for Mark Hughes this month.

Hughes remains keen to complete a deal for the Wales hitman and City are understood to be mulling a third bid for Bellamy, but Hammers technical director Gianluca Nani has revealed that only an "extraordinary" offer - thought to be around £15m - would tempt the club to cash in on their prize asset.

Even then, Gianfranco Zola would have the final say on any deal and the Hammers boss this week repeated his desire to retain the services of Bellamy.

"I know that he's got good teams around him that are tempting him but we want him to stay with us," Zola said.

"I have a very good relationship with Craig, he's the perfect professional. I hope that I'm giving him something that will feed his wish to improve.

"I have some players I consider very important for the club. We want to keep those players and Bellamy is one of them."

Despite Zola's admiration for Bellamy, it is thought that City could test his resolve with an offer of more than £10m this weekend and the key to any deal could hinge on the inclusion of Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov as a makeweight.

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury has said that sales will only be sanctioned if a replacement has been lined up and Bojinov has revealed that he has spoken to Zola about a move to Upton Park.

"Two days ago, Zola called me on my mobile and told me that he wants me in West Ham but City made it perfectly clear that they don't want to sell me," Bojinov said.

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