MLS chief says Beckham discussing second Milan loan
LONDON -- David Beckham is in talks with the Galaxy about going to AC Milan on another loan and then returning to Los Angeles afterward.
"That deal I think hasn't been fully finalized yet, but I know he is interested in going to Milan and he's in conversation with the L.A. Galaxy about doing a loan again and discussing coming back," Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber told The Associated Press. "But those discussions are ongoing and haven't really been concluded yet. David has been an important part of the history of Major League Soccer and we'd love to have him continue his commitment to the league."
The 34-year-old midfielder must join a European club on loan in January to be considered for England coach Fabio Capello's squad for June's World Cup.
"We hope that the Galaxy and David can reach some agreement that makes sense for David, the Galaxy and Major League Soccer," Garber said, speaking by phone from New York on Friday.
Beckham impressed at Milan during his stint there in the first half of 2009, but received a hostile reception from Galaxy fans when he returned to Los Angeles with the MLS season well under way.
A low point came when Beckham received a $1,000 fine from Garber for confronting a group called the L.A. Riot Squad during an exhibition match in July against the Milan team he had just left.
Beckham joined the Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007 on a five-year contract, but could curtail that deal early after the World Cup to avoid a repeat of such hostility.
"I think David was a bit surprised that the fans reacted," Garber said. "In many ways that shows the growing sophistication of the market here, that it is not just about bringing over star players, it's about bringing star players who join their teammates and have a deep commitment to their club."
"That process is evolving from where we were years ago where we would bring players in and they were really just marketing vehicles to help grow our exposure. Today it's great to have players who have great marketing power, but fans want them to be committed."
Garber said there has been no progress over Beckham's plans to buy into a franchise at the end of his career.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press