'One last challenge': Where next for David Beckham? - News & Comment - Football - The Independent

'One last challenge': Where next for David Beckham?

The 37-year-old is still viewed as a hot property by teams around the globe

Former England captain David Beckham has announced he will leave the Los Angeles Galaxy after next month's MLS Cup.

Despite his age the 37-year-old will still be viewed as a hot property by teams around the globe as he seeks to extend his playing career.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses possible destinations for Beckham who says he wants "one last challenge" before ending his playing career.

Australia

Only last week, Beckham's spokesman rubbished claims from Football Federation Australia (FFA) that it had been approached by the midfielder's camp with a view to the player spending a short stint Down Under.

However, his decision to announce leaving the Galaxy so soon after these rumours came to light will undoubtedly fuel speculation even further.

Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart have already expressed an interest and Lyall Gormal, executive chairman of new A-League franchise Western Sydney Wanderers, said Beckham would have obvious commercial appeal.

The division is growing in stature and Beckham's former England team-mate Emile Heskey has moved to Newcastle Jets and ex-Juventus and Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero is now at Sydney FC.

China

In a country with a population of over one billion people, Beckham's marketing appeal could climb even further should he switch America for Asia, with his sponsors almost certainly likely to give their seal of approval.

Beckham moving to China would be a massive coup for the Super League and the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan man would be able to name his price, with Nicolas Anelka reportedly earning over USD10million a year with Shanghai Shenhua, who also boast the Frenchman's fellow former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba among their ranks.

However, would Beckham be comfortable with uprooting his family to another foreign environment and a culture that is completely different to the one they have become accustomed to?

Remaining in the US

Beckham has lived in the US for over five years - with the exception of two short loan spells in Italy with AC Milan in 2009 and 2010 - and has a wife and four children to take into consideration.

Staying in America and in Major League Soccer would certainly be appealing to Beckham although on the surface, the only move that would make sense would be a cross-coast move to the New York Red Bulls.

While acknowledging his move to the Galaxy in 2007 would increase interest in the MLS, Beckham insisted his switch was down to his desire to carry on winning trophies.

And the Red Bulls could have a real shot at glory next season, with Rafael Marquez, Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry already among their number.

It is worth noting that Beckham's initial contract with the league included a clause allowing him to be involved in owning an expansion team down the line, so does he have unfinished business in the US?

Europe

Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain could follow up the interest they expressed in December last year - before Beckham extended his contract with the Galaxy - with a move to the French capital a viable option as they are in the hunt for the Ligue 1 title.

Last summer's spending spree, which included the acquisitions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi in big-money moves shows that the club's Qatar investors are not afraid to splash the cash to land their targets either.

A return to the Barclays Premier League would create a stir in England although it appears unlikely.

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