David Beckham's aides rubbish claims he will play Down Under despite Football Federation of Australia statement
Friday 16 November 2012
David Beckham's aides rushed out a statement this morning rubbishing claims he is in talks to play Down Under.
Football Federation Australia announced shortly before 7.30am they had been approached by Beckham’s camp about a short stay in the A-League.
The former England captain, who signed a two-year contract with LA Galaxy in January, has had two loan spells with AC Milan in Major League Soccer off-seasons. But within 20 minutes of the FFA statement, Beckham’s representatives insisted: “There is always enormous interest from clubs across the world in David. There are absolutely no plans to play in Australia.”
However, Lyall Gormal, executive chairman of new A-League franchise Western Sydney Wanderers, said: “Clearly there have been some informal discussions so it [the Beckham statement] is a bit puzzling.”
“There are absolutely no plans to play in Australia,” Beckham's management team said in a statement released to Sky Sports in England on Friday.
“David is completely focused on the MLS playoffs and winning another Championship with the Galaxy.”
That poured cold water on the FFA's statement that they had been contacted by the player's agent and begun negotiations with one of the sport's iconic names.
“The approach from David Beckham's people is another sign of how much the A-League has grown in stature on a global basis,” the FFA said earlier on Friday.
“Beckham is a superstar on the world stage and he would be another massive signing for the A-League after the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono.”
Local media in Australia had reported that Beckham was interested in a 10-game deal at the conclusion of the Major League Soccer season.
Beckham's Galaxy, reigning Major League Soccer champions, face the Seattle Sounders next week in the second leg of their Western Conference final after winning the home leg 3-0.
Beckham is out of contract at the end of the MLS season in December and has already been linked with the New York Red Bulls by American media, who speculate the move would allow his former popstar wife Victoria to pursue a fashion career.
Despite the FFA's disclosure, three Australian clubs had already distanced themselves from the former Real Madrid, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder.
“That's great if he is coming,” Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou told local media. “Would we be interested? Nah.”
Western Sydney Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman told Fairfax Media: “If we were approached, we would go through the normal process.
“We've had no approaches at all. We don't speculate on those things until they come across our table.”
Perth Glory denied any contact had been made but chief executive Paul Kelly said: “We would be mad not to seriously consider David Beckham.”
Former internationals Del Piero, Heskey and Ono have all recently joined A-League clubs, the Italian, Englishman and Japanese boosting the profile of soccer Down Under.
Beckham has spent two MLS off-seasons in Italy's Serie A with AC Milan and almost joined England's Tottenham Hotspur on a similar two-month loan in January.
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