MLS insist Beckham move will only be short term
Major League Soccer have insisted David Beckham will be back with LA Galaxy ahead of the new season next April, meaning the player's loan move to AC Milan will only be short-term.
And although the move seems all but signed and sealed, Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena has expressed doubts about the wisdom of the temporary transfer - while appearing to be completely in the dark about the loan agreement.
The former England captain, contracted to LA Galaxy until 2012, is in talks over a move to the Italian giants in January once the transfer window reopens. The regular MLS season finishes this weekend and with Galaxy out of the running for a place in the play-offs Beckham would be restricted to a promotional tour of New Zealand until the next US domestic campaign.
But Beckham is eager to remain in the thoughts of England coach Fabio Capello and believes that by returning to Europe he can both remain match fit and prove he is still able to perform at the highest level.
There had been talk that Beckham would play in Serie A for the remainder of the campaign and then possibly join the club on a permanent basis, but MLS are confident he will be in the white of Galaxy again at the end of March meaning Beckham will be at the San Siro for two to three months.
It would be a similar agreement to the one which saw Henrik Larsson move to Manchester United from Helsingborgs for 10 weeks in January 2007.
"Discussions have taken place between AC Milan and the Los Angeles Galaxy regarding the possibility of a short-term loan agreement that would allow David Beckham to play for AC Milan during the MLS off season,'' MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
"Those discussions are ongoing. David remains an LA Galaxy player and will be here for the start of the 2009 MLS season."
Arena, meanwhile, told the Los Angeles Times he felt it was an "odd" move for both the club and the 33-year-old. Galaxy themselves have so far declined to comment on any possible deal.
"On the surface, it sounds like an odd proposition,'' Arena said. "I don't see where that benefits MLS or the Galaxy. I don't know if there's anything true in the rumour.
"The first I heard about it was today (Wednesday)... but I would think [given] the position the Galaxy is in and [the fact that] we're rebuilding our team and trying to have a successful year, it would seem very odd to me if we were loaning out our top players at the start of the season.
"It would seem pretty odd to me to operate that way.''