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Nov 16, 2012

David Beckham denies Australia plans

LONDON -- David Beckham's management company says the former England captain has no plans to play in Australia, disputing claims on Friday by the country's soccer federation that talks had started.

Football Federation Australia said it received an approach by an agent representing the 37-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder about having him play some matches with an A-League team this season.

Despite FFA claiming that talks were at a "preliminary stage," Beckham's representatives denied it.

"There is always enormous interest from clubs across the world in signing David as a player," Beckham's management company said in a statement. "There are absolutely no plans to play in Australia. David is completely focused on the MLS playoffs and winning another championship with the Galaxy."

Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 after a career at Manchester United and Real Madrid turned him into one of football's biggest stars.

He signed a two-year deal with the Galaxy in January, but has yet to commit to playing next season in Major League Soccer. The current campaign ends in two weeks.

The denial from Beckham's representatives came after FFA chief executive David Gallop went public with details of the apparent direct talks to bring him to Australia on a short-term basis.

"I spoke to the player's agent today and said to him it would be fantastic," Gallop told Australian broadcaster Fox Sports. "There would be some hoops to jump through. Clubs need to come forward and be the first point of contact.

"What we're thinking about is a guest stint. It would be fantastic but we're not getting ahead of ourselves at this point. The most I can say is we are talking about a 10-game guest stint and obviously that might whet his appetite to come back."

The profile of Australia's league has been raised by the arrivals this year of former Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC) and former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey (Newcastle).

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