CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham is close to agreeing on a deal that would bring him back to the Los Angeles Galaxy for one more year after his current contract expires at the end of the Major League Soccer season.
Beckham has been with the Galaxy since the summer of 2007 and has been linked with a move to several European clubs as his existing deal winds down. French side Paris Saint-Germain and English Premier League teams Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers have been mentioned as possible destinations.
However, two sources close to the negotiations told Yahoo! Sports that the 36-year-old's desire to keep his family in Los Angeles has been a significant factor in moving discussions along.
It is hoped within the organization that a new deal can be wrapped up in a few weeks. The Galaxy (19-4-10) beat local rival Chivas USA 1-0 on Sunday night to ensure it would complete the regular season with an unbeaten home record and head into the postseason as an overwhelming favorite to secure a title.
Beckham has tried to remain coy on the topic of returning to L.A. but admitted that talks have reached an advanced stage. “I have had a lot of offers,” Beckham said. “The Galaxy have talked to me and of course there is a possibility that I will come back here next season.”
The Galaxy is trying to win its first title of the Beckham era and is benefitting from having him at full fitness all season for the first time since 2008. Head coach Bruce Arena believes this campaign has been the England midfielder's most productive by far since arriving in America.
"To me this is his first full year in the league," Arena said. "Who would ever think at the end of this whole thing that he could clearly prove that he was worth bringing here? He has done great things for this league and this franchise. Who would think that at the end of it all that it would be seen as a great move – but it has been."
Arena seems confident that Beckham will return and recently there is a different mood in the organization that leans toward that outcome.
"We are not worried about it," Arena said. "If David wants to be back here he will be back here."
According the one source, it was the Galaxy's flexibility that has helped to tilt things in its favor in the face of huge financial offers from suitors like Paris Saint-Germain. While Beckham's competitive spirit had led him to strongly consider having one more crack at a big European league, the Galaxy's willingness to allow him as much time off as necessary for next year's Olympics is a crucial consideration.
Beckham is widely expected to be named as captain of the Great Britain Olympic team. Olympic soccer is an age-restricted event confined to players under 23, although each team is allowed three over-age players.
The Galaxy was without stars Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan on Sunday but was strong enough to ease past Chivas. Chad Barrett scored the only goal with a header from Adam Cristman's cross on 53 minutes.
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- David Beckham