Los Angeles Galaxy chief executive Tim Leiweke has warned Milan he “will not be taken for a ride” as the Italian club attempt to prise David Beckham away from Major League Soccer.
Beckham is currently on a short-term loan with Milan which is due to expire on 9 March but his impact in Serie A has been such that they are now looking to keep him at San Siro for an extended stay. The two clubs have held talks but Leiweke, the president and chief executive of AEG, the company which owns Galaxy, has branded Milan’s offer of $3m (£2.1m) as “ridiculous”.
“We are not close,” Leiweke said. “Two weeks ago, Milan made a ridiculous offer, to which I replied ‘no’ in a few seconds. With that figure, Galaxy don’t even cover the damages deriving from the shortfalls of not selling his shirts. Since then, no one has made any moves. There are no meetings arranged.”
Leiweke’s revelations will come as a surprise to Milan fans after the vice-president of the Rossoneri, Adriano Galliani, said this week that the Italian outfit had edged closer to keeping the England midfielder.
“I have decided to speak up because I have read too many inaccurate stories,” Leiweke said. “After that ridiculous offer, Milan have not done anything.”
Beckham signed a five-year contract with Galaxy in January 2007 after a spell with Real Madrid, and Leiweke is annoyed by the way Milan have handled the current situation. “If David doesn’t return, who will replace him?” he said. “Our transfer market is already closed. If Milan are so determined to keep him, why are they taking so long?”
“What really matters is that Milan make a real offer,” Leiweke added. “I don’t wish to talk about the offer but the figures [between £10m and £15m] that I have read in the United States are close to what we want.”