Confusion as Becks agents says talks go on
David Beckham's advisers will hold talks with Real Madrid tomorrow over their contract offer despite claims today that the former England captain is to leave the club in the summer.
An ambiguous reply by Real's sporting director Predrag Mijatovic to a question on Italian TV sparked reports that the club would not renew Beckham's contract.
Urgent communication between Beckham's camp and the club followed, and soon established that the offer was still on the table - though that is no guarantee the 31-year-old will be at the Bernabeu next season.
The delay in signing the new two-year contract is not connected to money, but whether midfielder feels he will command a regular place in the first team.
A spokesman for Beckham said: 'We have spoken to the club this afternoon and as far as we are concerned a significant two-year deal remains on the table.
'We are meeting Real Madrid tomorrow and will sit down to discuss the deal further and will go from there.'
The club also confirmed there had been a misunderstanding over Mijatovic's remarks, though as the former Yugoslavia striker has been putting pressure on the player to sign the new deal he may well have been indulging in some sabre-rattling.
Beckham is under contract with the Spanish giants until the end of June but since January 1 has been allowed to speak to other clubs, and has been linked with a move to the United States.
Today's saga began when Mijatovic, asked in a telephone conversation broadcast on Sky Italia whether Beckham's contract would be renewed, replied: 'No, it hasn't been renewed.'
That was taken in some quarters to mean no new contract would be signed, but Beckham's advisers immediately contacted Real Madrid and were assured the offer still stands.
Real are very keen to keep the midfielder even though he has been a bit-part player under current coach Fabio Capello - his marketing power as the world's most famous footballer remains a huge draw to fans across the globe.
Beckham though has seen six different coaches appointed since he joined Real in July 2003, and the club has failed to land a trophy since then.
Even with a host of top-quality new signings and under a proven coach such as Capello they have once more stuttered with season, leaving Beckham with some doubts as to whether he should remain at the club until 2009.