Arena wants to examine UEFA loan process
CARSON, Calif. -- Los Angeles Galaxy coach and general manager Bruce Arena said Friday he was not aware "in any kind of detail" of UEFA president Michel Platini's desire to investigate how soccer teams loan players.
Platini said Wednesday that he wants to examine the process in light of David Beckham's loan from the Galaxy to AC Milan. Platini said he wants to prevent teams from acquiring players solely for individual games or tournaments.
Arena also said he does not know if UEFA has contacted Major League Soccer, the Galaxy or Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Galaxy's owners, regarding a possible inquiry.
"I have no idea," Arena said. "I'm not aware of it."
Under the original loan agreement, negotiated in October, Beckham would return to the Galaxy in March for MLS's season. But Beckham said on Wednesday that he wants to stay with AC Milan and negotiate a departure from the Galaxy.
AC Milan placed Beckham on its roster for the UEFA Cup, though he would be available for only two games under the current loan agreement.
In October, Beckham said he wanted to train and play with AC Milan to remain in contention for a place on England's national team and a possible World Cup appearance.
Beckham, who signed a five-year contract worth $32.5 million with MLS in 2007, also said Friday in Italy that he "rediscovered" himself with AC Milan.
A couple of Galaxy players said they understood.
"David is used to playing on teams like Real Madrid and Manchester United," midfielder Chris Klein said. "To get back into an atmosphere at one of the biggest, most storied clubs in the world is going to rejuvenate a guy."
Forward Alan Gordon, the Galaxy's longest-tenured player, said the team's losing took a toll on Beckham.
"Last year was a tough time for all of us," Gordon said. "One thing about David is that he's very competitive. It doesn't matter if it's a small-sided game on the training pitch; anytime he loses, he's going to be (frustrated)."
Beckham is one of three MLS players who were loaned to overseas clubs during the offseason. The Galaxy's Landon Donovan joined Germany's Bayern Munich in December; his loan agreement also expires in March.
On Wednesday, Bayern Munich placed Donovan on its Champions' League roster.
The Chicago Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco played four playoff games on loan with Mexico's Santos and sought a second loan to Puebla, another Mexican club, but FIFA denied it.
Fulham FC in England's Premier League asked the Fire in January to loan Brian McBride in a bid to avoid relegation but the Fire refused. McBride played with Fulham from 2004 to 2008 before joining the Fire in August.