Beckham Wants to Quit Galaxy

For the first time today, Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said publicly he wants to leave the Carson-based team and join A.C. Milan for good:

“I have expressed my desire to stay at AC Milan now, and it’s just down to Milan and Galaxy to come to an agreement,” he said. “”I’ve said what my feelings are to both clubs.”

Naturally, the Galaxy aren’t talking.

Below is the story that will appear in the newspaper Thursday.

From staff and news reports

David Beckham wants to leave the Galaxy and stay with AC Milan after his stay with the Italian team ends next month.

The English midfielder announced his intentions Wednesday after playing in Milan’s 2-2 tie at Glasgow Rangers in Glasgow, Scotland.

Beckham has played well with the Italian club during his three-month loan, which is up March 8.

“At the moment my lawyers are not talking to the Galaxy,” Beckham said. “But I have expressed my desire to stay at AC Milan now, and it’s just down to Milan and Galaxy to come to an agreement.”

“I have enjoyed my time here,” he added. “I knew I would enjoy it but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have and do as well as I have.”

Beckham is about two years into a $32.5 million, five-year contract with Major League Soccer. The Galaxy had no immediate comment.

“At this point it’s out of my hands,” the 33-year-old star said. “I’ve said what my feelings are to both clubs.”

Since coming to Italy, Beckham has scored twice and helped to lift Milan to second place in the Serie A standings.

Beckham has five goals over parts of two seasons with the Galaxy.

“At the moment I’m still a Galaxy player,” he said. “I respect the Galaxy and everything they have done for me. They have always been great to me.”

Beckham wants to maintain his place on the England national team and play at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Before joining AC Milan, he said playing in Italy against top-flight international competition would allow him to stay in shape.

“To be given the chance again to play at this level at my age is pretty incredible and I’ve enjoyed it so much I would like to continue it,” he said. “I think people have seen the way I’ve been since playing at this level again.”

“It’s nothing against the MLS and the football over there because it’s a game that will grow, but it will take quite a few years,” he added. “I’m still confident that will happen eventually, but I want to have a chance of being involved in 2010 and I believe my best chance of doing so is to remain here.”

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has avoided the recent speculation that Beckham would try to get out of his MLS contract.

“I’m expecting him to be coming back here and having a full season and that he’s healthy and he plays well,” Arena said last week.

After two seasons of Beckham-induced upheaval, which included a third consecutive non-playoff season, the Galaxy appear to be on another collision course with some turmoil.

Added to the mix is that Landon Donovan, the top goal scorer in MLS last season, doesn’t appear to be headed back from his loan to Bayern Munich either.

“I don’t have a gut feeling as to whether I’m going to be teammates with (Donovan and Beckham) this year,” veteran Galaxy defender Chris Klein said last week. “Each situation is different. I’ve spoken to Landon and he’s made very public his desire to stay there. As a friend, I want what’s best for him and he is playing very well. And Bayern Munich is one of the best clubs in the world. Would I fault him or would I fault David for wanting to stay or exploring the opportunity? No.”

“But I also understand from an MLS standpoint and an L.A. Galaxy standpoint, we have needs too and those are two of the best players in our league and who wouldn’t want to have them?”

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • charlesj27

    I am going to assume that these statements in quotes are indeed made by David. That being said, the necessary and honorable thing to do is to let David absolve his contract with LA Galaxy so that he can continue to play top football at AC Milan. I am really hoping that AEG and the LA Galaxy organization deeply and humanly get that. I really do not want another ill-willed, chaotic, poisonous, disgruntled year. Enough! Please, LA Galaxy and AEG get the most compensation out of this absolution and focus on strengthening the LA Galaxy club & its players with quality, depth, drive, dedication, and heart.
    Allow and support Bruce, Dave, and Cobi to enable them to bring in players that can add completeness, creativity, fluidity, and comradery back on the pitch at the HDC. If the two best/most well-known players have aspirations, desires, and dreams elsewhere – let them go and try to attain that. As a club & organization, the LA Galaxy must remedy all the ill, the stupidness, and misalignment that have devastated its product on field.

  • mbar

    I’m fine with him leaving but MLS better get a transfer fee that reflects both his value to AC Milan and the cost in lost revenue to MLS that his move will mean.

    That means more then $20m.

    I’m serious.

    The foreign press and the comments from AC Milan seem to think that we’re just going to let him leave because they are big and mighty AC Milan and we are little old MLS.

    Screw them. $20m+ or no deal.

  • StudsUp

    gaLAxy should hurry up and trade him now while his stock is relatively high. Let MLS make money off him like he did off of us.

  • Sean

    Get rid of him already. He’s the worst distraction a rebuilding team like the G’s could possibly have.

    Any chance the Galaxy can get DeMarcus Beasley?

  • Ben

    Hope the whole thing gets done quickly, so there is less distraction from the preseason build up and not another will he won’t he transfer saga.

    MLS is ready to talk, so is Milan and Becks – now it’s AEGs turn.

    I don’t fault him for wanting to stay there, nobody saw it coming that it would be such a good partnership on the field as well.

    Those who want a 50M $ = forget it.

    He has a get out clause at the end of 2009 and would be a free agent.

    10-15 M $ + some future revenue/friendly games would be fine with me

    and thanks for the Klein quotes Nick!

  • Amberson

    I understand the reason for him wanting to leave. His glory seeking days have a brighter future with him playing in Milan…..BUT…..I also see a man who has broken his pledge and commitment to help nurture the sport in the USA. Does he have any concern for the damage his departure might have on MLS/USA soccer?. Probably not. Whatever he does, he does for himself and his hyped up image. I have lost respect for the man. Good riddance and I hope he does not return to retire in MLS.

  • http://www.ericpz.com ericpz.myopenid.com

    Don’t let the door hit you Dave. I’ve a feeling something else is at play here but, oh well. Becks came, he saw, he hung out the movie stars and, well besides selling a bunch of tickets and shirts, he didn’t do a heck of a lot. So long dude. Thanks for tying up so much cap space that we had a crap squad around you. Thanks for two seasons of missing out on the playoffs. I’ll laugh if England miss qualification for South Africa. Sell him now before he gets injured again.

  • Joseph D’hippolito

    Dear Mr. Anschutz:

    FIRE LEIWEKE NOW!!!!