Thu, Feb 05, 2009 - Page 18 News List

AC Milan keen to keep Beckham in Italy

AP , MILAN

AC Milan’s David Beckham reacts during the Italian Serie A match against Lazio in Rome on Sunday.

PHOTO: AP

David Beckham will have AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti and vice president Adriano Galliani supporting him if he wants to get out of his Los Angeles Galaxy contract to stay in Italy.

Beckham was halfway through a three-month loan with Milan that will end on March 8.

He has told the Italian media he’s enjoyed his return to Europe more than he expected, and while he respected the five-year contract with Los Angeles signed in 2007, he said playing for Milan was “something special.”

The Galaxy has reiterated that it wants Beckham back when the loan ends.

But Ancelotti, who has been surprisingly impressed by Beckham, would like the England midfielder to remain at San Siro.

“Nobody can tell what will happen after March 9,” Ancelotti told Sky TV Italia.

“He wants to stay here, he has not hidden that fact, but it is a problem between him and LA Galaxy. As a club, we cannot get into this matter,” he said.

“Beckham has given a new push to the team in terms of quality and enthusiasm. He has given the team something extra and certainly if he stayed it would make it easier to win the Scudetto,” he said.

Such has been Beckham’s impact that he was included in Milan’s 25-man roster for UEFA Cup games against Werder Bremen on Feb. 18 and Feb. 26.

“I am realistic about his future,” Ancelotti said. “I knew that he will be with us until March 9, that is for certain, so we will have to make the most of him during his time here.”

“He has given the team all his quality, by his work rate, his talent, his assists and the goals he has scored. He has made an unexpected contribution,” he said.

Galliani said the financial benefits of Beckham’s presence have also boosted the club.

“I think he does [want to stay], but I can only speak of what the club wants to do and Milan will do everything possible to have Beckham after March,” Galliani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It is 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 honored. If the Galaxy want to start negotiations we will be happy to try, but they are right, the agreements are clear — on March 9 Beckham must return to America,” he said.

Last month, he played in a lucrative friendly with Hannover, and was expected to play some part in a friendly against Rangers in Glasgow yesterday.

“[Beckham’s marketing appeal] exists and we understand it following the many requests we have received to play friendly games, but it is not only his presence which attracts other clubs,” Galliani said. “We have a group of stars.”

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