LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Galaxy hope to reach a compromise with David Beckham over the England midfielder’s wish to return to Europe for a loan during the MLS offseason.
Instead of allowing Beckham to embark upon a full loan which would see him play matches for another team, the Galaxy may permit him to train in Europe, like he did with Arsenal in 2007, which should be enough to keep him happy.
Beckham announced his desire to undertake a temporary stint at a leading European side after accepting a lifetime achievement award in the United Kingdom on Sunday night. He said such a move will enhance his chances of being selected for the England national team as it attempts to qualify for the 2012 European Championships.
However, having already been burned badly when Beckham snapped his Achilles during a loan spell with AC Milan earlier this year, an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup and most of the Galaxy’s 2010 season, Los Angeles' hierarchy is loath to sanction a similar option this time around.
“We are not aware that David is looking to be loaned to any other team and we are fully expecting he reports with the rest of his Galaxy teammates in late January for the upcoming season,” the Galaxy said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday.
The most realistic outcome is that Beckham goes to train with a leading team – probably in England – in order to maintain his fitness and keep him in the British spotlight, according to a source close to the parties. The training stint could begin at the start of January and runs for around six weeks, at which point he would rejoin the Galaxy for their final preparations ahead of the 2011 MLS season.
“In some ways it would be the best of both worlds,” the source said. “A full loan is pretty unlikely, especially given what happened last time. But the training would keep him sharp and hopefully have the desired effect [of satisfying England coach Fabio Capello].”
Following his injury-riddled 2007 season in MLS, Beckham conducted a similar routine, spending several weeks training with Arsenal’s first-team squad with the backing of Gunners head coach Arsene Wenger.
While his competitive nature is such that he still feels capable of playing at the highest level, Beckham will probably have to accept that at 36, the Galaxy are not prepared to risk an injury to their biggest star that could impact the final year of his contract.
“I won’t be going back to AC Milan this time because it is not possible to go onto the roster for such a short length of time,” Beckham said Sunday. “But I will be going back somewhere as I want to keep myself fit and keep myself in with a chance of getting called up for England again. To do that, I have to be somewhere, so fingers crossed I can sort something out.”
Beckham has made 115 international appearances for England, the most for any outfield player.