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Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Alexi Lalas questions David Beckham Premier League loan

Alexi Lalas and David Beckham
Beckham (right) agreed to join Lalas (left) at LA Galaxy in January 2007

Former Los Angeles Galaxy manager Alexi Lalas has questioned whether David Beckham should move to England on loan.

Tottenham are trying to arrange a temporary deal for Beckham, 35, while Newcastle and Blackburn are also keen.

But Lalas told BBC 5 live: "American soccer fans say David Beckham has given a lot, but he's also taken a tremendous amount out of Major League Soccer."

Meanwhile, Blackburn owners - The Venky Group - have said their club are "open whenever [Beckham] is ready to come".

The Chair of Venky's, Anuradha Desai, revealed that attempts had previously been made to link up with the former England captain.

On Tuesday Spurs manager Harry Redknapp played down his club's chances, having stated previously that Beckham wished to move temporarily to White Hart Lane.

"Weeks fly by and this month will have come and gone before we know where we are," he said. "It's a difficult one. But let's wait and see, it's not in my hands.

"He'd be great to have around the place and I'm sure he's got a lot to offer as a player and a person. As a professional, he's top class."

But Lalas - general manager at the LA Galaxy between April 2006 and August 2008 - feels Beckham may be persuaded to stay with the MLS side after his club-mate Landon Donovan ruled out a loan move.

The Galaxy begin their season on 15 March against Seattle, and Beckham has previously used the 2009 and 2010 close-season breaks to play on loan at AC Milan.

But the midfielder's second spell with the Italian side came to an early end when he suffered an Achilles tendon injury playing against Chievo in March.

A subsequent six-month lay-off ruled Beckham out of the World Cup in South Africa, while he was also a marginal figure in the Galaxy's run to the final of the Eastern Conference - starting only five regular-season matches.

And Lalas believes that without the motivation of trying to force his way into England's squad for a major tournament, a third loan move for Beckham would be less sympathetically received in America.

"The reason David Beckham went over to Milan was to prepare, in theory for the World Cup," he added.

"I think that was commendable and understandable to a certain extent - but now it is happening once again."

Beckham was jeered by a section of LA Galaxy fans on his return for his first loan spell in 2009 while some fans have reacted angrily to the prospect of losing their star once again.

Donovan, who had spells at Everton and AC Milan in 2009 and 2010 respectively, has said he would not take up any similar offers this year.

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"I have been playing nearly non-stop for the past two years and I believe that this decision will allow me to perform at my best for the Galaxy," he said in December.

"When Landon Donovan comes out and says that it certainly puts pressure on David Beckham," added Lalas.

United States' leading goalscorer Donovan criticised Beckham's commitment to his American employers after his first loan spell at AC Milan was extended in a 'timeshare' deal between the two clubs. "At a minimum, you should bust your ass every day and that hasn't happened," he said in a book called 'The Beckham Experiment'.

Beckham described Donovan's comments as 'unprofessional' but the pair were reconciled after talks with coach Bruce Arena.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has already ruled out making a move for Beckham, who trained with the Gunners in 2008, but admitted there was no doubting his talent.

Wenger said: "At the time he was practising here, he was ready. Since he had his injury I don't know because I haven't seen him practice or play.

"The only thing I can say (is) of course you don't need to speak about his talent or his professional attitude because that was absolutely fantastic."

Wenger dismissed suggestions that Beckham should have bowed out at the top, adding: "I respect a lot the guy who plays until the last day of his potential and doesn't care too much about what people say because he knows he will never play again after that."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who worked with Beckham at Milan, hailed him as a "fantastic professional player", while also ruling out a swoop for the former England captain.

"He could be good support for Tottenham if he comes back," he said. "But we are not interested. In that position we have good players."

However, former Chelsea boss Avram Grant admitted he would love to see East Ender Beckham come "home" to Upton Park.

The West Ham manager said: "There are other teams who want him, he's a big player and a big personality.

"But if David Beckham wants to come to West Ham he is welcome. I like him as a player and as a person, and he's a local lad.

"Many clubs want him but if he wants to come to West Ham I would be happy."



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see also
Beckham deal 'could still happen'
09 Jan 11 |  Premier League
Pardew 'unlikely' to sign Beckham
03 Jan 11 |  Newcastle
Beckham keen to join Spurs - Redknapp
01 Jan 11 |  Tottenham
No third Milan stint for Beckham
31 Jul 10 |  Europe
Beckham plays down Europe return
29 Sep 10 |  Football
Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
12 Jan 07 |  Football


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