Wales boss Gary Speed backs possible Craig Bellamy move to Liverpool

Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy scored nine times in 42 appearances for Liverpool in 2006-07

Wales manager Gary Speed has backed the possibility of striker Craig Bellamy returning to Liverpool.

The 32-year-old spent last season on loan at Cardiff City and is surplus to requirements at Manchester City.

Reports claim Bellamy is being lined up for a free transfer to Anfield as back-up to first-choice strikers Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.

"Liverpool are a fantastic club and if that is true and it comes off, that would be great," said Speed.

"Hopefully by the end of the transfer window things will be sorted out."

Bellamy spent the 2006-07 season with Liverpool before moving to West Ham and then City, where he fell out of favour after former Wales manager Mark Hughes was replaced by current manager Roberto Mancini.

"It is only natural Craig is going to be linked with top clubs because he is a top player," added Speed, who named Bellamy in his 24-man squad for next month's European Championship qualifiers against Montenegro and England.

Meanwhile, former Wales assistant manager Mark Bowen believes Bellamy would jump at the chance of a return to Anfield.

The striker was signed by then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez in 2006, scoring nine times in 42 appearances, before moving to West Ham United for £7.5million in 2007.

"If it does happen it would be a fantastic move for Craig," said Bowen, who worked with Bellamy as part of the Wales coaching set-up.

"I know he had a fantastic time there [at Liverpool] before.

"It didn't quite work out for him and I just didn't think at the time he fitted into Rafa Benitez's take on the way he wanted to go about things with the club.

"He came away from there and I think he'd welcome the challenge to go back there."