MILAN - David Beckham will stay on loan at AC Milan for the rest of the season before returning to Los Angeles Galaxy although his long-term future remains unresolved. "I'm really grateful to the LA Galaxy and AC Milan for making this dream deal happen," the England midfielder told Reuters in an email on Sunday. "The perfect result for 2009 would be for me to help Milan to reach the Champions League and for the LA Galaxy to make the playoffs and win the MLS Cup." A Galaxy statement said the deal "has been funded jointly by Milan and the player himself". The 33-year-old joined Milan on a two-month loan in January and had been due to return to Galaxy on Monday. However, the original deal technically had to be until June meaning the clubs could agree to a new deal outside the transfer window. Milan said in a statement Beckham would stay with Milan until June 30 before returning to Los Angeles for the U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) season which ends in November. Beyond that, the Rossoneri hope to take Beckham back, given that the England midfielder has a clause in his reported five-year $250 million Galaxy contract allowing him to leave. "David has the choice of whether he wishes to trigger a release in his contract or remain with the Galaxy," Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said in a teleconference call on Sunday. "Nothing has been concluded on that and we are going to play out the year." Tim Leiweke, president of club owner AEG, expressed delight that Beckham would be returning to Los Angeles. "Much has been written and said but, all along it has been our intention to keep David Beckham as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy," Leiweke said in a statement. "We are pleased he is returning and at the same time, we feel it is important to allow him to finish his run in Milan." MARKETABLE PLAYER Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said on Saturday that Beckham, who moved to Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007, would be giving up "a mountain of money" to make the deal go through. A Milan source, who said Beckham's last game for the Italians would be at Fiorentina on May 31, added the club had paid less than five million euros ($6.32 million). Beckham, who had expressed a wish to stay with Milan full time after a good start to his career in Italy, was nonetheless pleased with the agreement. "It allows me to play for AC Milan and the LA Galaxy in the same year, and at the same time to continue my commitment to develop soccer in the United States, which is something I am passionate about," he said. "My family is happy and settled and will remain in LA." The world's most marketable player joined Milan in a bid to safeguard his England place during the long U.S. close season from October to March. The plan worked and the former Manchester United winger equalled Bobby Moore's England outfield record of 108 caps when he played in last month's friendly defeat in Spain. Milan, third in Serie A and out of the UEFA Cup, tried to buy him outright but could not agree a fee with Galaxy after weeks of wrangling. ------------------------------------------ FourFourTwo.com: More to read... Big risk for Beckham with back-and-forth deal Beckham: Options open for November Galaxy: Beckham happy to return in July
8 March 2009
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