Sun, Nov 18, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Aussies not giving up on attracting Becks Down Under

Reuters, SYDNEY

Australia soccer chief David Gallop was not surprised David Beckham’s management denied he had any interest in playing in the A-League, but said that did not mean there was no possibility of it happening.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Friday they had been approached by the former England captain’s management only for Beckham’s representatives to respond by saying the 37-year-old had “absolutely no plans to play in Australia.”

Gallop, who only recently took over as FFA chief executive, said such counter-statements were common when it came to negotiations concerning big players, as Sydney FC had discovered during their wooing of Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero.

“A similar thing happened with Del Piero in terms of the contact and, as we all know, that came to be. So let’s just see how this one plays out. It’s certainly an exciting proposition — no one would deny that,” he told local radio yesterday.

“We’re not counting our chickens in relation to this ... but obviously people would prefer negotiations to happen behind closed doors,” Gallop said. “At the mere mention of Beckham’s name, it did leak out and there’s been a mushroom of interest.”

“There would have to be a fair few hoops that would have to be jumped through and getting a deal with one of the clubs is the first step,” he said. “There’s definitely been some contact made and let’s just see where it gets to.”

According to FFA officials, the approach was made in relation to Beckham playing in the A-League during the current season.

Beckham could fulfill his obligations with the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer in the US and then play 10 games as a guest player in Australia.

Melbourne Victory have said they are not interested in the midfielder, leaving the Melbourne Heart and league-owned Western Sydney Wanderers as the most likely bidders for his services.

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