Fabio Capello insists he will not tell David Beckham what to do as the midfielder seeks a permanent move to AC Milan, but the England manager did hint that playing in Italy would give him a better chance of staying in the national team squad.
Beckham is midway through a short-term loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy to AC Milan - due to expire on March 9 - but has made it clear he wants to make the switch to the Rossoneri permanent.
Beckham has said the main reason is to ensure his international future, and the decision to spend the winter in Italy is set to pay off as he will equal Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps for an outfield player if he plays against Spain on Wednesday.
''I choose the players in the best form,'' Capello said when asked about Beckham's recall, before adding that he will not get involved in Beckham's club future.
''This is for David Beckham to choose,'' he said. ''I think the (Italian) championship is a very strong league. The US championship is not the same. The level is different.''
Milan are increasingly confident of securing Beckham on a permanent deal and are prepared to help him extricate himself from his Galaxy contract and provide him with the opportunity to stake a claim to play in the 2010 World Cup finals.
Galaxy have rejected one bid from Milan, but the Italian club have pointed out that they cannot be expected to stump up a big fee for a 33-year-old who will be a free agent in November if he exercises a clause in his contract.
The main problem surrounds the complexity of Beckham's agreement with Major League Soccer and the Galaxy, but if the player has to buy himself out of his contract then Milan are prepared to help him.
A Milan insider said: ''The biggest driving force in any transfer is the will of the player, and we know David wants to play for us. It is a very complicated contract in the USA but we will do what we can to help him move.''
Beckham could expect a deal with Milan at least until the end of next season, but the club insist they are not targeting him for his 'brand'. The insider said: ''We have Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pirlo and Pato already so we don't need him for our profile.''
Although Beckham is expected to equal Moore's caps record if he faces the European champions in Seville on Wednesday, Capello has not decided whether the 33-year-old will feature.
''David Beckham is here because he is playing well at Milan,'' Capello told a news conference on Tuesday. ''Perhaps he will play but I am not sure at moment,'' the Italian added. ''I still have to choose the first 11.''