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AC Milan refuse to up Beckham bid

David Beckham and Adriano Gallini
David Beckham is involved in a tug of war with Milan and LA Galaxy

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani says the club will not increase their offer for LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham.

Milan want to turn Beckham's loan with them, which ends on 9 March, into a permanent switch but Galaxy supremo Tim Leiweke says the offer is "ridiculous".

When asked if Milan will raise the bid, Galliani said: "Absolutely not.

"The budget I have at my disposal is already at a maximum between the salaries and the transfers."

Beckham has impressed Milan enough for the Serie A side to make a move to keep him and also earn a return to England manager Fabio Capello's squad.

But the increasingly fractious stand-off between Galaxy and the Italian side means it is likely that he would return to Major League Soccer and continue to honour the five-year deal he signed in January 2007.

David is a friend... but I will not be taken for a ride

Tim Leiweke
CEO of LA Galaxy's parent company

Leiweke, chief executive of the company that owns Galaxy, has stated that the "first option to come out of his contract is at the end of 2009".

And Galliani said: "Milan has made the offer that it considered fair for an eight-month loan.

"As Leiweke confirmed, on 30 November, David can become a free agent at zero cost.

"I don't intend to make a controversy, in fact, I thank Galaxy for allowing us to have Beckham on loan in these past few months."

He added: "I have experience to know the price of a player.

"In the United States they look at the commercial aspect. Instead in Europe, in the transfers, the technical aspect prevails."

AC Milan had claimed that they were close to signing Beckham but those comments angered Leiweke.

"Two weeks ago Milan made a ridiculous offer ($3m or 2.1m) to which I replied 'no' in a few seconds," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"With that figure, Galaxy don't even cover the damages deriving from the shortfalls of not selling his shirts.

"Since then, no-one has made any moves. There are no meetings arranged."

He added: "After that ridiculous offer, Milan have not done anything. They have tried other people, from the commissioner of the league (Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber) to David's representatives, but not us, who own his rights.

"If David doesn't return, who will replace him? Our transfer market is already closed. If Milan are so determined to keep him, why are they taking so long? Do they think that we will settle for less money? They are mistaken."

606: DEBATE
river21

Leiweke says the ramifications of Beckham not returning would be damaging for both LA Galaxy and football as a whole in the United States.

"What Milan don't understand is that behind this story, there are fans that are renouncing subscriptions, sponsors that want damages and rival teams that have the right to know if the Galaxy will play at their stadium with or without Beckham.

"David is an incredible professional and I am happy for him and for Milan that his Italian experience is going so well. This confirms that our choice to bring him to the United States was the right one."

Leiweke made it clear that he bears no grudge against Beckham.

"David is a friend and asked me to listen to what Milan proposed," he said.

"I have said yes, because of him. But I will not be taken for a ride and hence, on 9 March, Beckham will be in Los Angeles and will work with the same seriousness and dedication as before.

"He already knows he doesn't have a choice because the first option to come out of his contract is at the end of 2009.

"What really matters is that Milan make a real offer.

"I don't wish to talk about the offer but the figures (between $10m and $15m, or 7m to 10.5m) that I have read in the United States are close to what we want."

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see also
Beckham makes AC Milan debut
06 Jan 09 |  Europe


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