Beckham: Milan loan will not shorten LA stay

October 25, 2008

David Beckham admits he is honoured by the prospect of linking up with ''one of the biggest sides in the world'' - but insists that any deal with the Serie A giants AC Milan will not affect his future with Los Angeles Galaxy.

The midfielder is in talks with Milan and is expected to agree a loan deal to join Carlo Ancelotti's side in the next few days, in a bid to maintain his match fitness and remain part of Fabio Capello's England set-up.

The former national team captain is just one appearance short of matching Bobby Moore's 108-cap England record for an outfield player, but has already been warned by Capello that any inactivity during the Major League Soccer off-season would result in his likely omission from the next squad.

Explaining his interest in joining the Rossoneri on a short-term basis, Beckham said: ''One of the reasons I want to train and play in Milan for a few months is the fact that the MLS season doesn't run as long as the European season and my body is programmed to actually not have that amount of time off.

''AC Milan is one of the biggest clubs in the world, I've been lucky enough to play with one of the biggest clubs in England, one of the biggest clubs in Spain and now I'm being given the chance to play with one of the biggest clubs in Italy.

''I'm hoping to go to Milan to train and play with them. I've played with two of the biggest clubs in the world, Man Utd and Real Madrid. I've been given the chance to join up with Milan for a couple of months and I'm very honoured.''

Beckham, who trained with Arsenal at a similar stage last season, was criticised in some circles for swapping the cut and thrust of life at the top of the Primera Liga for the lower-profile MLS when he moved to LA last year.

And although the 33-year-old has always defended the standard of play in America, he concedes he is excited about the prospect of linking up once again with some of the sport's most celebrated stars.

''I've a great chance to go there, keep fit and play with some of the best players in the world,'' he said.

''They've got Kaka, Ronaldinho, Seedorf and also a player with one of the best records in football, in (Paolo) Maldini.

''To be on the pitch and the training field and get experience with those players is a big honour for myself.

''It also gives me a chance to keep my fitness up and also carry that on for when I come back to the Galaxy for the MLS season.''

The continuation of his Galaxy career is a theme Beckham is eager to elaborate on - confounding those who saw his proposed move to Milan as a stepping stone to a more permanent return to the European elite.

''It doesn't mean I'm leaving the States,'' confirmed Beckham.

''I'm still very committed to being a Galaxy player. I came to the Galaxy to win trophies and I want to do that. I'm also very committed to my role as the MLS ambassador.

''You know, things have been great so far throughout the MLS. It's been slightly disappointing on the Galaxy side because we haven't made the play-offs again but on the other side of it - the success of the MLS as a whole - the attendances and all aspects have been rising. They are all above previous levels.

''The MLS is in a great position at the moment. My hope for the season coming with the Galaxy is to win trophies. That is a big part of why I'm here.''

The possibility of Beckham spending a stint in Serie A has already been met with approval by a host of Milan stars, including Gennaro Gattuso, Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi.

It is the reaction of Capello, though, which will most interest Beckham as he strives to remain part of England's surge towards the 2010 World Cup.