Major League Soccer have confirmed David Beckham is in talks over a possible loan move to Serie A club Milan but insisted any deal would only be short term.
Milan confirmed on Wednesday their desire to sign the LA Galaxy midfielder in January with initial speculation suggesting he would head to Italy until the end of the season.
However, in a statement issued on Wednesday night, MLS said the deal would be restricted to around two to three months to allow Beckham to return to Los Angeles in time for the start of the 2009 MLS campaign in late March.
“Discussions have taken place between AC Milan and the Los Angeles Galaxy regarding the possibility of a short-term loan agreement that would allow David Beckham to play for AC Milan during the MLS off-season,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
“Those discussions are ongoing. David remains an LA Galaxy player and will be here for the start of the 2009 MLS season.”
LA Galaxy have so far declined to comment on any possible deal, although the club’s general manager and head coach Bruce Arena has questioned the wisdom of loaning Beckham to Milan.
“On the surface, it sounds like an odd proposition,” Arena said in remarks reported by the Los Angeles Times.
“I don’t see where that benefits MLS or the Galaxy. I don’t know if there’s anything true in the rumour.
“The first I heard about it was today [Wednesday]… but I would think (given) the position the Galaxy is in and (the fact that) we’re rebuilding our team and trying to have a successful year, it would seem very odd to me if we were loaning out our top players at the start of the season.
“It would seem pretty odd to me to operate that way.”
According to a report in today’s Guardian, England coach Fabio Capello was integral in persuading Milan to bring the player to Italy.
The former Milan boss and Franco Baldini, the England general manager, recommended Beckham to the chief executive of the Serie A club, Adriano Galliani.
Capello insisted that the former England captain, who retains a good level of fitness, could still make a sustained impact on the field for Milan.