AC Milan "working to keep" Galaxy's David Beckham
Adriano Galliani did not get where he is by failing to work the angles, and the bald, bushy-eyebrowed chief executive of AC Milan was at it again on Tuesday, pushing buttons in his continuing effort to keep Galaxy midfielder David Beckham at the Italian club.
"We are working to keep him, and I think he would like that too," Galliani, 64, told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Milan will do everything to have Beckham even after March. It is clear that it's our wish to have him until the end of the season [May 31] or on a permanent deal."
The Galaxy has insisted that Beckham must return by March 9 for the beginning of the Major League Soccer season, and Galliani admitted that the MLS club is fully within its rights in doing so.
"There's always a hope, but contracts should be honored," he said. "If the Galaxy wants to talk, we would be very happy to try. But . . . they are in the right. Beckham must return to America on March 9. Let's wait."
Meanwhile, one English tabloid, the Sun, Tuesday reported that AC Milan was willing to pay 14 million pounds (roughly $20 million) for Beckham, and Italy's Il Corriere Della Sera newspaper claimed that Beckham had instructed his legal advisors to seek a way out of his contract with the Galaxy.
According to several reports in England and Italy, Beckham has an escape clause in his five-year contract with the MLS team that would allow him to leave at the end of this season.
But Beckham is doing so well on the field at the moment and AC Milan is positioned to win the Italian championship that the midfielder, who turns 34 on May 2, believes his future is best served by remaining in Italy and not returning to Los Angeles.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: David Beckham of AC Milan applauds during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Feb. 1. Credit: New Press / Getty Images