David Beckham’s representatives will begin talks with Real Madrid this week about a new contract for the former England captain.
Beckham’s current deal runs out at the end of this season and the 31-year-old will be able to speak to other clubs from January.
The midfielder’s manager Simon Fuller was in attendance in Madrid for Real’s 5-1 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday, suggesting talks could be imminent.
The discussions are likely to centre on Real’s share of Beckham’s image rights – they are entitled to 50 per cent under his current contract.
Beckham moved to Real in a £25m move from Manchester United in 2003. His arrival in Spain coincided with a downturn in the club’s fortunes and he has yet to win a trophy in his three years at the club.
However, his commercial appeal remains impervious to his form on the pitch and Real president Ramon Calderon is keen to retain the midfielder.
The Real Madrid president claimed last week on the club’s official website: “Beckham’s new contract will be sorted out in the next 15 to 20 days, because the club and coach Fabio Capello are very pleased with him.”
Capello has left him on the bench for the last three matches, but he too is keen to hold on to the midfielder.
The midfielder earns a reported £4million a year in wages but at the end of the season he becomes available on a Bosman free transfer, a fact that will strengthen his hand in the contract talks.