Agent: Beckham Sticking to Galaxy Deal
Sunday, June 10, 2007; 7:03 PM
LONDON -- David Beckham is sticking to his plan: He's bound for the Los Angeles Galaxy next month _ regardless of what anyone says. "There is no intention of getting out of the Galaxy deal or reneging on the Galaxy deal," agent Simon Oliveira told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon was quoted in the Spanish media as saying that he would try to persuade the England star to stay and would use an escape clause in Beckham's Galaxy contract to withdraw from the deal.
"We have to sit down with him, his representatives and with (Madrid sport director Predrag) Mijatovic, take a look at that clause and decide among us," said Calderon, speaking at the French Open final in Paris. "But for me, I would love it if he stayed at our club."
Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas told The Associated Press there is no escape clause in Beckham's contract.
"On the surface of it, it's a benign comment," Lalas said. "I don't doubt they would love nothing more than to have David Beckham continue with the team. Nothing has changed from our standpoint. We are eagerly awaiting his arrival."
Beckham's contract with Real Madrid ends June 30. Lalas said he expected Beckham to arrive in Los Angeles in mid-July and play in his first game shortly after that. Beckham has already bought a house in Los Angeles, Lalas said.
Oliveira stressed that Beckham, who has just returned to the England lineup, is eager for the next step in his career.
"David is looking forward to going to the States," Oliveira said. "But he wants to end his career at Real Madrid on a high note first, by winning La Liga."
Beckham could win his first major trophy with Madrid if the team beats Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium next weekend in the last round.
Madrid rallied to a 2-2 tie at Zaragoza on Saturday, with Beckham starting for Madrid despite not being fully fit after spraining his ankle while playing for England against Estonia in a European Championship qualifier Wednesday. England won that game 3-0, with Beckham setting up two goals.
Barcelona and Madrid both have 73 points, though Madrid wins the title on head-to-head results if they remain tied in the standings. Sevilla has 71 points.
Asked if Beckham's recent play had made him more attractive to Real Madrid than when the deal was made, Lalas said, "I still think he is playing better than he ever has. I also don't believe he was playing as poorly as people made it out to be. If anything, he was the scapegoat for miserable performances of a team stock full of super stars."
"In life and soccer, timing is everything," Lalas added. "He recognized an opportunity as did we. He saw a great opportunity for him and his family, for a challenge, and to continue his professional soccer career. I don't think he's looked back since."
Associated Press Writer Harold Heckle in Madrid and Peter Prengaman in Los Angeles contributed to this report.