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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009

Beckham reluctant to return to US

By Jonathan Stevenson
BBC Sport in Milan

David Beckham
Beckham came off in the Milan derby with an injury in the second half

David Beckham says he would be reluctant to return to the LA Galaxy as he seeks to make permanent his loan spell with Serie A club AC Milan.

Galaxy are unhappy Milan failed to meet a Major League Soccer deadline over any move on Friday for the 33-year-old.

"I know it will be difficult to go back after everything that's happened," he said after Sunday's Milan derby defeat.

BBC Sport understands that AC Milan representatives will fly to Los Angeles this week for further negotiations.

The England midfielder added: "I've said I want to stay at Milan and I haven't changed my mind, but it's out of my hands."

Beckham had to come off early in the second half of AC Milan's 2-1 defeat by Inter Milan because of an injury to his right leg.

However, it is understood the midfielder will take part in training on Monday and travel to Werder Bremen on Wednesday for Milan's Uefa Cup tie.

Big players should absolutely play in big teams and Beckham is one of those

Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic
"There will be more talks this week between the two clubs and hopefully, as I've said before, they can come to an agreement," said Beckham, who is on loan in Italy until 9 March.

"Milan have made it clear that they want me for the rest of the season and so on, so we'll have to wait and see.

"I hope things will go the way I want them to, of course. But if I have to go back, I will be professional, because that's what I have to do."

Sunday's defeat left AC Milan nine points behind Serie A leaders Inter.

"We're quite far behind them now and we needed to win the game, but you never know," said Beckham.

"This league is strange, you can win one week and lose the next, so there's a chance, but it's a slim chance.

Cannot play media. Sorry, this media is not available in your territory.

Highlights - Inter Milan 2-1 AC Milan

"I was struggling a bit because I got a kick on my calf playing for England on Wednesday and it didn't really clear up, and then I got another kick on it tonight, it's just one of those things."

Inter Milan's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Beckham belongs at Milan - a place where he can show his true quality.

"I haven't followed his story every day it's true, but big players should absolutely play in big teams and Beckham is one of those," Ibrahimovic told BBC Sport.

"He has done well for Milan, he is a good team player and has helped them a lot since he arrived at the club.

"I think he is becoming very important for them, especially in the way he plays, because he is a great team player and they have other players with different qualities."

Galaxy have increasingly adopted a tougher negotiating stance over Beckham and on Friday insisted he must go back to Los Angeles after the Major League Soccer deadline passed.

Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has dismissed Galaxy's stance as a "tactic", while the Serie A club's coach Carlo Ancelotti thinks a move is still possible.

Beckham joined Milan on loan in an attempt to revive his international career after England head coach Fabio Capello said he needed to be playing more competitive football.

The England international, who equalled Bobby Moore's England record of 108 caps for an outfield player in last week's 2-0 defeat by Spain in Seville, has become a regular for Milan since his arrival in January.

However, with England set for nine internationals from the end of March until October, including six qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, a return to the MLS could see Beckham left out of the national squad.

Milan, who have had a 5m bid for the 33-year-old rejected, have so far failed to meet the Galaxy's valuation, which is reportedly in excess of 10m.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has settled in quickly at the San Siro, impressing both Ancelotti, his team-mates and rival managers with his professionalism and work ethic.

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see also
Beckham's golden opportunity
16 Feb 09 |  Europe
How Beckham conquered Milan
14 Feb 09 |  Europe
European football gallery
14 Feb 09 |  Europe
Beckham donates shirt to charity
12 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Beckham reaches England milestone
12 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Beckham on target again for Milan
28 Jan 09 |  Internationals
Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
12 Jan 07 |  Football

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