David Beckham is to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and join Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy.
The 31-year-old former England captain will sign a five-year deal, reportedly worth an astonidhing £128m.
Beckham told Reuters: “This week Real asked me to make a decision regarding their offer to extend my contract.
“After considering several options to stay in Madrid or join other major British and European teams, I have decided to join LA Galaxy.
“I would like to thank the supporters and people of Madrid who have made my family and I feel so welcome in my time here, making this an extremely difficult decision to make.
“I have enjoyed my time in Spain enormously and I am extremely grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to play for such a great team and their amazing fans.
“I am proud to have played for two of the biggest clubs in football and I look forward to the new challenge of growing the world’s most popular game in a country that is as passionate about its sport as my own.
“For the rest of this season I will continue to give 100% to my coach, team-mates and fans as I believe Fabio Capello will bring this club and its supporters the success they truly deserve.”
Beckham left Manchester United in July 2003 to sign for Real, but in the three-and-a-half seasons since his arrival, the club have not won a trophy.
This season Beckham has struggled to earn a place in the Real starting eleven and speculation about his future plans intensified over the course of the season as he refused to put pen to paper on a new deal.
Major League Soccer spokesman Dan Courtemanche says Beckham’s representatives have been in Los Angeles discussing a move for some time.
“AEG, and specifically the Los Angeles Galaxy from MLS, are speaking to his representatives… He has a relationship with AEG, which owns the Los Angeles Galaxy, he is partners with them in his academy,” Courtemanche confirmed.
“(Talks started this month) under Fifa guidelines from January 1.”