Premier League veteran and former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy has sensationally revealed how he snubbed moves to both Manchester United and Everton during the course of his career.
34-year-old Bellamy, who is evidently enjoying what will surely be his final spell in the Premier League after forming a crucial part of the Cardiff City side who won promotion from the Championship last season, is an undeniably honest character who is certainly never afraid to pull any punches.
And that would appear to be the case again, with Bellamy revealing that there was a link between him and the current Premier League champions in 2010 and that he also used interest from Manchester United over a decade ago in order to attempt to get an improved deal at Newcastle.
"“It’s true – my adviser had a conversation with United in 2010, shortly before I came to Cardiff on loan,” Bellamy was quoted by the Daily Mirror.
"It was great to feel wanted, and I would have loved to do it, but it was never going to be allowed to happen. If Man City had agreed to it, then great. But, point-blank, they said no, and I never once pushed it.
“After Carlos Tevez had moved in the opposite direction the year before, I didn’t expect anything to come of it. Actually, there was a link with Sir Alex as far back as 2002, when my representatives went to see him at United’s training ground, with a view to a move going ahead.
“But Newcastle had just qualified for the Champions League, I loved playing for Sir Bobby Robson and had just been offered a new contract there. To be honest, I used an inquiry from United to hold out for a better deal."
Bellamy, who has also represented the likes of Norwich, West Ham and Blackburn over the course of his 17-year career in professional football, also revealed that he turned down David Moyes when the Scot tried to bring him to Everton.
“When I was leaving Newcastle, David Moyes came to see me and tried to sign me for Everton," he continued.
“He made me feel the most wanted man on earth, saying I would fit in perfectly with the way they played and it became clear Everton was a really good option for me. A couple of weeks later, I travelled to Preston to meet him at his house, still intent on joining, but something had changed.
“He had this list of rules, saying I was to do this and I had to do that. He was saying, ‘If I do sign you, this is what I expect.’ It was different to the first meeting, and made me wonder if he was totally convinced about signing me at all.
“It wasn’t anything to do with lifestyle. It was more like, ‘If I switch you to right wing after 60 minutes, I don’t want you shaking your head. Then Bill Kenwright, the Everton chairman, was on the phone, saying the medical had been arranged, but I said to my adviser, ‘This doesn’t feel right’ and we called it off."
Bellamy, who recently retired from international football after winning 78 caps for his native Wales, faces both Manchester United and Moyes this weekend as the Red Devils travel to the Welsh capital for a Premier League encounter on Sunday afternoon.