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By ESPN Staff

Beckham wants to stay, says Milan chief

AC Milan believe David Beckham wants to remain at the club when his short-term loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy comes to end.

Club owner Silvio Berlusconi, Beckham's team-mates, Rossoneri fans and even Milan's Serie A opponents have praised the midfielder who has scored two goals and on Sunday set up the first two in a 3-0 win at Lazio.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, when asked if the 33-year-old Beckham wants to stay with the title-chasing Italian giants, said: ''I think he does, but I can only speak of what the club wants to do and Milan will do everything possible to have Beckham after March.

''It's evident that our will is there to keep him until the end of the season or even on a permanent transfer.

''There is hope, but contracts have to be honoured. If Galaxy want to start negotiations we will be happy to try.

''But they (Galaxy) are right, the agreements are clear - on March 9 Beckham must return to America.''

The England midfielder's arrival has boosted the Rossoneri, who have avoided defeat in their last five league games while climbing to second in the Serie A standings, six points behind league leaders Inter Milan.

Beckham has proved so effective that club coach Carlo Ancelotti decided to include the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star in Milan's UEFA Cup updated list.

If Milan lose Beckham after March, the midfielder will only be able to play in the two games against Werder Bremen before returning to the United States for the new Major League Soccer season.

In the meantime, Milan are making the most of Beckham's stay.

The Rossoneri have been the most followed team on television in the first half of the season, beating Inter and Juventus with an average of 1,079,725 spectators per game.

Asked to comment on the Beckham effect, Galliani said: ''It exists and we understand it following the many requests we have received to play friendly games, but it's not only his presence which attracts other clubs. We have a group of stars.''

Beckham is expected to travel with Milan to Scotland for a friendly with Rangers at Ibrox.

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