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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 13:49 GMT
LA Galaxy admit Beckham interest
By Matt Slater

Alexi Lalas
Signing players of (Beckham's) stature would be a wonderful step in the right direction, not just for the Galaxy but for soccer in America

Alexi Lalas
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy have confirmed they are interested in signing David Beckham if the former England captain fails to renew his Real Madrid deal.

Out of contract in Spain at the end of the season and no longer a first-team regular, the 31-year-old midfielder is believed to be considering a move.

"There are thousands of clubs out there that would love to have a player of his calibre," said Galaxy boss Alexi Lalas.

"And the Los Angeles Galaxy is certainly one of them."

Beckham, who played against the Galaxy for Real in a pre-season game in 2005, has already said that he would like to end his career in the US.

"I've one year left at Real, and maybe two more after that, but things can change in football and the American league does interest me," said Beckham.


"I want to be part of a country that is passionate about sport. And I've got my academy in LA, which is important to me because that is my life after the game."

But when he made those comments in April he was still a fixture in the Real first team and captain of England.

Things have changed considerably for the former Manchester United star in the intervening months.

Dropped by new managers at club and country, Beckham is now stalling on extending his stay in Madrid and believed to be reconsidering the final chapters of his playing career.

David Beckham
Beckham's Real Madrid displays are little more than cameos now
As well as the Galaxy, Celtic, Spurs and Israeli club Maccabi Netanya have been reported as possible destinations for the high-profile star.

The two British clubs, however, have recently distanced themselves from a possible move for Beckham and the prospect of the player going to Israel seems remote.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Lalas, the Galaxy's president and general manager, made it clear that Beckham would suit his team, signal their intent to compete on the world stage and be good business for Major League Soccer.

"For many people the Los Angeles Galaxy are looked upon as the jewel of MLS," he said.

"We play in the best stadium, we have had incredible success over the history of the league and we have had great individual players and great teams. There is a tradition of excellence.

"All of this leads to this race to become the first 'MLS super club', if you will.

"That is something we aspire to and in order to do that you have to have quality players, a direction and passion, a good coach and credibility domestically and internationally.

"Signing players of (Beckham's) stature would be a wonderful step in the right direction, not just for the Galaxy but for soccer in America."

When asked for a firmer statement of intent regarding a possible bid for Beckham, Lalas was careful not to say anything that could be regarded as 'tapping up'.

"A move for Beckham is not something we need to discuss at this point because he's under contract with Real," he said.

"But if that changes, and there's an opportunity, of course we'd be interested."

Victoria and David Beckham
Brand Beckham attempts to break America at the 2003 MTV Awards

The former US international did, however, admit that the Galaxy's owner, sports conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group, has a close relationship with Beckham.

His academy shares a home with the Galaxy just outside LA at the 27,000-seat Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Lalas also said that with the Galaxy missing the MLS play-offs for the first time in 10 seasons he was planning a major overhaul of the team during the close season.

One possible stumbling block for a Galaxy attempt to sign Beckham would be the salary cap rules that exist in the MLS.

The rules were introduced when the league was set up in 1996 to ensure a level playing field and prevent any repeat of the excesses that brought down the North American Soccer League in the early 1980s.

But Lalas confirmed that the 12 team owners are due to discuss a loosening of these rules, a move that would make marquee signings more likely.

"We recognise that when opportunities that will benefit the entire league come along we have to be able to make adjustments," he said.

"I feel that going forward there will be the ability for the individual teams to do something like (sign a player of Beckham's stature)."

What remains to be seen is if Beckham feels his days as first-team player for a major club - and country - are genuinely over.

Despite the huge strides made by American soccer and the MLS a move to the US would still be seen as an admission that his career is winding down.

Beckham wants to end career in US
11 Apr 06 |  Football


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