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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 March 2006, 12:31 GMT
Wenger plays down Beckham links
David Beckham salutes supporters at Highbury
Midfielder Beckham acknowledges the applause at Highbury
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is playing down speculation that he is ready to bring David Beckham back to England.

England captain Beckham, 30, has a year left on his Real Madrid contract but upheaval at the club may tempt him to finish his career in his home country.

Wenger said: "If you ask me 'Do I rate him?' I say yes. 'Could he play for Arsenal?' I think he has the qualities.

"'Have I been in for him?' No. 'Do I know what his intentions are?' Only he can create that answer, I don't know."

Midfielder Beckham played his first club game on English soil in nearly three years when Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League by the Gunners on March 8.

Real are in a state of transition off the field as they face a third successive season without a trophy.

The resignation of president Florentino Perez may signal a change of emphasis at the Bernabeu - where Perez's policy of signing star name Galacticos has not borne fruit.

We have a policy of not signing players over 30 but we will address that when it happens
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Wenger, who has been criticised for the lack of English players in his squad, admits Beckham would be a quality addition but he would not be forced into revealing his hand.

The Gunners boss said: "It was disrespectful to talk about him before our game against Real but now it is over I can say I think he is a wonderful player.

"If you can find an exceptional player who can add a little class where we need it then I will sign him. Beckham could be one of them.

"We have a policy of not signing players over 30 but we will address that when it happens.

"Five years ago I couldn't spend because of our move to Ashburton Grove, I had to go for young players.

"I didn't realise there was more money around than I thought."


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