Beckham: Bring on United

MILAN - AC Milan's David Beckham wants to play former club Manchester United when the draw for February's Champions League last 16 is made on Friday.

The 34-year-old, who joins Milan in January for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy to try to secure his England World Cup place, left United in 2003 having won the 1999 European Cup with his boyhood club.

"I would really like it if we draw my old club. Since I left in 2003 I have not gone back to play at Old Trafford (as a club player)," he told Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport from Los Angeles.

"Seven years have gone by and I want it to happen. Me against United, great no? It would be very difficult but also very exciting."

Beckham, who acknowledged he might not walk straight into the side at the second-placed Serie A club, also said he wanted England to meet Italy in the World Cup final next July.

Asked if England were among the favourites for South Africa, he said: "Yes, we can say it without any problems. England are a very ambitious team, however they are not the only ones."