Sun, Feb 15, 2009 - Page 20 News List

LA Galaxy expect Beckham back after Milan miss deadline

AFP , LOS ANGELES

AC Milan’s David Beckham reacts after failing to score during the Serie A match against Reggina at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, on Feb. 7. Beckham is returning to LA Galaxy after Milan failed to make an acceptable offer.

PHOTO: AP

LA Galaxy expect David Beckham to return next month after AC Milan failed to meet a Friday deadline to make the US club an acceptable offer for the England midfielder.

“Today’s [Friday] deadline imposed by Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner Don Garber regarding a resolution of David Beckham’s potential transfer to AC Milan has passed and we did not receive an acceptable offer for the player,” Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “As a result, David remains an LA Galaxy player and we look forward to having him back with the club starting March 9.”

Beckham is on loan to AC Milan until March 8 and his success there had prompted the club and the player to express a desire to make the move permanent.

Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Galaxy owners AEG, told the Los Angeles Times that no late offer would be considered because the Galaxy and MLS must move forward with their plans for the upcoming season.

“He will be back here on March 9 and we don’t want to entertain any more conversations now,” Leiweke told the Times. “It is a distraction to Bruce Arena, the team and the fans and we move on. That’s the last we’re going to talk about this.”

Reports in Europe on Friday had indicated that despite the deadline, negotiations would go on at least through the weekend.

Leiweke said he would not be surprised if AC Milan responded with an offer over the weekend or later in the week, but insisted the Galaxy didn’t intend to negotiate further.

“They’ll come back. Sure they will ... That’s not fair. We owe it to Bruce and we owe it to the rest of the team. We’re a month away from our season,” he said.

Leiweke told the Times that AC Milan had “never been in the ballpark” in terms of offering what Beckham is worth.

The 33-year-old equaled Bobby Moore’s England record of 108 caps for an outfield player when he featured against Spain on Wednesday.

And Beckham knows that by playing for Milan, the former club of his international manager Fabio Capello, he should also secure his place in future England squads, perhaps all the way to next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

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