Galaxy eager to avoid Beckham distraction

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says David Beckham's request for a permanent move to Italy would be handled in the best interests of the club to avoid any possible distraction ahead of next season.

Beckham, who joined the Major League Soccer club in June 2007, is on loan with AC Milan and has expressed his desire to stay in Serie A to help him in his bid to play one more World Cup with England in South Africa next year.

"We'll do whatever is in the best interest of the team and the organisation," Arena told reporters after a Galaxy training session at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Thursday. "I won't let it be a distraction. It won't be.

"This is a business and we'll attend to this matter like we attend to every matter related to the Galaxy. Whatever happens, happens, and whatever concludes will be in the best interests of the Galaxy.

"Most of the things I enjoy when I do read them," added Arena, who last week pledged that the Galaxy would honour Beckham's loan agreement with Milan.

"Not only those about David but everything. It's kind of humorous when you understand what's going on behind the scenes."

Midfielder Beckham, 33, said for the first time in Glasgow on Wednesday that he would like to quit the Galaxy, where he appeared to have put himself out to grass in U.S. soccer in 2007 after agreeing to a lucrative five-year contract.

"I have expressed my desire now to stay in Milan and hopefully the clubs can come to some agreement," the former England captain said after a friendly between Rangers and Milan at Ibrox.

"I expected to enjoy it (in Milan), but I didn't expect to enjoy it this much and play in every game like I have.

"I have said that my intentions are to stay here. Now it is out of my hands so I have to wait and see," added Beckham, who has played at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups.


"My main objective is to stay at this club and I enjoy playing here and at the highest level and it would give me more of a chance (of playing in the 2010 World Cup)."

The Italian giants have said Beckham's lawyers were discussing with the Galaxy the possibility of extending the player's loan spell, due to end on March 9.

The midfielder moved to Italy during the U.S. close season for a two-month stint to try to stay in contention for a place in the England side he captained at the last two World Cups.

Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has said he wants Beckham to stay. For technical reasons, Beckham's loan is actually until June but there is an agreement that he goes back to the United States in March.

Milan have not yet made an offer for the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player, Galliani said.

"To enter a negotiation and eventually close a deal we have time until March 8," he said.

Calls for Beckham to stay at Milan have grown since he surpassed expectations with his performances. He has scored two goals in his first five starts for the Serie A side.