David Beckham still mulling his future
David Beckham isn't saying -- at least, not yet. But anyone reading the tea leaves would have to concede that it does not look good for the Galaxy.
Beckham's five-year, $32.5-million contract with the MLS team expires Dec. 31, and in the run-up to that Beckham has received inquiries from clubs all over the world. None, however, has been as persistent at the French team Paris Saint-Germain. Media reports in France this week quoted unidentified people affiliated with the club as saying that a deal with the former England captain was "95% complete."
The team's oil-rich Qatari owners reportedly are offering Beckham just more than $1 million a month for 18 months. The Galaxy can't match that cash, but in the past the team and Major League Soccer have dangled a possible ownership stake in a future MLS franchise, a deal that could be sweetened with an executive position with AEG, the company that owns the Galaxy.
In a conference call with the media this week, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said Beckham's departure is "certainly not a done deal "
"I think the Galaxy are very much interested in bringing David back," Arena said. "It will be David's decision, but we're keenly interested in keeping the player here."
Beckham said during the Galaxy's recent exhibition tour of Asia and Australia that he probably would wait until after Christmas to announce where he will play next season. However, a member of Beckham's camp said Friday that an announcement could come as early as next week.
-- Kevin Baxter
Photo: David Beckham is congratulated by AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke following the Galaxy's playoff victory over the New York Red Bulls on Nov. 3. Credit: Jae Hong / Associated Press