Friday, February 13, 2009

LA Galaxy: David Beckham To Stay In US

Barring a last-minute change of heart, the Los Angeles Galaxy will hold midfielder David Beckham to his contract, since according to team owners, AC Milan did not make an acceptable offer for the player.

The possible agreement to send Galaxy midfielder David Beckham to AC Milan on a permanent basis seems to be well and truly dead after the Italian club failed to meet Major League Soccer's Friday deadline with an acceptable offer.

Anchutz Entertainment Group (the owners of the Los Angeles Galaxy) president Tim Leiweke sounded in no mood to compromise in statements he made to the Los Angeles Times.

"He will be back here on March 9 and we don't want to entertain any more conversations now," Leiweke said. "It is a distraction to [Galaxy Coach] Bruce Arena, the team and the fans and we move on. That's the last we're going to talk about this."

AC Milan could possibly not have taken the deadline seriously. Leiweke, though, was adamant that the time for negotiations had passed.

"They'll come back. Sure they will. But we owe it to our fans [not to consider it]. They've been reading all these stories and we lose credibility by the day. That's not fair. We owe it to Bruce and we owe it to the rest of the team.

"We're a month away from our season."

According to the executive, AC Milan had never offered what Beckham was worth to the Galaxy or to the league as a whole.

"They've never been in the ballpark," Leiweke told the Times of Milan meeting asking price of more than $10 million.

Leiweke seemed to feel that the Galaxy, MLS, and even Beckham had been treated poorly by the Italian club.

"What they've tried to do is use David and use us. We're not going to play that game any more. This has been extremely damaging and distracting for our team.

"I've been as courteous and as gracious as I possibly can out of respect for David, but now it's time to move on. We need to get David excited about the team we're building here and coming back."

Though it's possible that Beckham could try to meet the transfer price out of his own pocket from his considerable fortune, Leiweke seemed to view such a move as unlikely.

"I doubt it," Leiweke said. "Nor would I encourage him to even think about that."

Beckham is due to rejoin the Galaxy on March 9.

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