Manchester City forward Craig Bellamy has rejected a clutch of offers from Premier League clubs to join his hometown club Cardiff City on loan for the season.
Cardiff have now moved from 12/1 to 9/1 to win the Championship title, and signing Bellamy is a statement of intent beyond the expectations of even the most optimistic of Cardiff fans.
Bellamy, who has been banned from Manchester City by their manager Roberto Mancini, is currently training with the Bluebirds and could feature in their match against Doncaster.
Cardiff are 8/11 to beat Doncaster on Saturday, and a sell-out crowd is expected to greet Bellamy for his Bluebirds debut.
Tottenham, Fulham and Celtic had all expressed their interest in signing the Wales captain, but while Manchester City were unwilling to let him join rivals such as Spurs, Bellamy himself was similarly reluctant to again move away from his Cardiff-based family.
Cardiff are also close to signing central defender Chris Riggott, who was released by Middlesbrough at the end of last season.
Bluebirds manager Dave Jones is keen to add to his squad before the transfer window closes at the end of August, and former Wolves and Celtic left-back Lee Naylor is another player who is reportedly on the verge of joining the south Wales club.
It is the capture of Bellamy, however, which will send shockwaves throughout the Football League, as Cardiff look to ease the pain of last season’s play-off final defeat with automatic promotion this term.
Who do you think will be Cardiff’s main title rivals? Nottingham Forest are also 9/1 to win the Championship. See the full Championship Betting Odds market.