David Beckham’s management says he has “absolutely no plans” to play in Australia’s A-League after the country’s soccer federation said it’s held talks with the former England captain.
The 37-year-old signed a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in January. He’d previously had two loan spells at AC Milan during the MLS offseason.
Football Federation Australia said in a statement today it had been approached by the midfielder’s representatives about a short-term contract that may involve playing as many as 10 games in the A-League.
“There is always enormous interest from clubs across the world in signing David as a player,” Beckham’s management company said in a statement. “There are absolutely no plans to play in Australia. David is completely focused on the MLS playoffs and winning another championship with the Galaxy.”
The FFA, which runs soccer in Australia, said that discussions were at an early stage and it’s “exploring the options available.”
“Beckham is a superstar on the world stage and he would be another massive signing for the Hyundai A-League after the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono,” the federation’s statement read.
For the 2012-13 season, A-League rules allow clubs to sign an international player outside the team salary cap of $A2.48 million ($2.6 million). Perth Glory Chief Executive Paul Kelly said on the club’s website he’d be interested in Beckham.
“We are always happy to speak to players of the caliber of David Beckham,” Kelly said. “At the end of the day it’s the coach, Ian Ferguson, who makes these decisions and we as a club have a process that we follow when recruiting players. But we would be mad not to seriously consider David Beckham.”
Del Piero, 38, became the A-League’s highest-profile import when he joined Sydney FC in September after a record-breaking 19-year career with Italian champions Juventus. In September, former England striker Heskey, 34, signed with the Newcastle Jets, and ex-Japan World Cup midfielder Shinji Ono, 33, joined the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Beckham helped Los Angeles win its third MLS Cup championship last season. The Galaxy takes a 3-0 lead into the second leg of its Western Conference playoff final tomorrow at Seattle, with the winner advancing to the title game on Dec. 1