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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 03:55 GMT 04:55 UK
Man Utd accept Beckham bid
David Beckham
Will Beckham want to join Barca?
Manchester United have agreed to sell David Beckham to Barcelona if Joan Laporta is elected president of the Spanish club.

But Beckham says he has no plans to discuss a move with Laporta - and claims he is being used as a "political pawn" in Barca's presidential elections.

A spokesman for SFX, Beckham's management company, said: "David is very disappointed and surprised to learn of this statement and has no plans to meet Mr Laporta or his representatives."

Laporta responded by describing Beckham's statement as a "negotiation tactic" and stating "negotiations with the player have begun".

United announced earlier on Tuesday that they had agreed a deal to sell Beckham, subject to Laporta taking over at the Catalan club.

If the money goes on strengthening the squad there will be full backing for the boss and the board
Julian Spencer, Independent Man Utd Supporters' Association

The transfer would also depend on Beckham agreeing personal terms.

"Manchester United confirms that in the event that all of the conditions are fulfilled then the offer would be acceptable," a club statement said.

A source close to chief executive Peter Kenyon said the fee was 30m, with a further 10m dependent on Barcelona's future success.

United's share price rose by 7p (4%) following the announcement.

The club's decision to go public on the bid is a clear statement that it is willing to let Beckham go.

A 40-year-old Spanish lawyer
One of five men vying for the presidency of Barcelona
Promising to sign Beckham as part of his campaign
Thought to be closing on favourite Lluis Bassat

But Beckham's reaction suggests Barcelona, who missed out on qualification for next season's Champions League, may not be his eventual destination.

Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan, who have also been linked with the England captain in recent weeks, could now be drawn into the chase.

"When David Beckham arrives from holiday, we will begin negotiations with him," insisted Laporta, who has closed the gap on rival Lluis Bassat from 29% to less than 3% in the latest opinion poll.

"If I am not elected president, I would turn over the transfer to the man who does win."


Beckham, 28, had previously insisted he wanted to stay at United, but admitted for the first time on Tuesday that his long-term future might not lie at Old Trafford.

"I've never said that I'd never move away from Manchester, and I've never said that I'd end my career there," Beckham, who is on holiday in the US, told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

"With all the big teams there are always going to be changes because you look to strengthen the team whether you win three trophies or you win one."

But Beckham's father Ted urged his son to remain at Old Trafford.

"I don't want him to go," he said. "I shall tell him not to go there. I want him to stay at Manchester United."

Laporta's campaign manager Sandro Rosell
"Beckham is one piece of our plan"

Barcelona coach Raddy Antic
"Nobody knows what will happen"

Would Barcelona be the right move for David Beckham?
69354 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


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