LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Galaxy scotched suggestions on Sunday that David Beckham would be reluctant to return to Major League Soccer (MLS) from AC Milan in July. The England midfielder had told reporters in Italy last month that it would be difficult for him to return to Los Angeles if his permanent move to Milan did not materialise. Protracted talks between the Galaxy and the Serie A club finally ended with Sunday's announcement that Beckham would stay on loan at Milan for the rest of the season before returning to the U.S. midway through the 2009 MLS campaign. "David is happy coming back," Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said in a teleconference call. "I had contact with David today. We emailed each other. "He wants to be in LA, he wants to take on this challenge. Despite public statements that have been made over the last couple of months, we are getting back a player who wants to be here and is motivated to do well. I want to make that clear. "If it was the other way around and this player had no interest in being here, we would not have done this. I can guarantee that." 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. CUP BID Beckham, who wanted to stay in Serie A to help him in his bid to play one more World Cup with England in South Africa next year, will remain with Milan until June 30 before returning to Los Angeles the following month. "I am very optimistic that David's addition to our team in July is going to be a positive," Arena said. "Now we know where we are headed. "We know what our team is going to look like at the start of the season and we know the kind of additions we're going to have and can continue with our plan to make this team better. It's great to have resolution. "Is it perfect? Of course it's not perfect but that's okay. I feel just having this thing finalised is a key part of us moving on and getting better." Although Beckham is likely to play just six home games for the Galaxy during the 2009 MLS season, Arena did not believe this would be a negative factor. "I think it's a positive, and that's why David is here," he added. "David has brought a lot of attention to our league and he has been an important part of the league's business plan moving forward. "Him coming here mid-year is not perfect but I think it's a real plus. All professional sports leagues in the United States are in difficult times now with the economy and I think David returning in July will be a boost for MLS and for the Galaxy."
8 March 2009
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