After another season with the LA Galaxy, David Beckham is looking to move back to Europe to keep his skills sharp and his chance for more England caps alive. The former Manchester United star said that he would never play for another English club after leaving Old Trafford for Spain in 2003, but he seems to have changed his mind after a host of Premier League clubs have expressed interest in signing him on loan.
Tottenham, West Ham, Newcastle, Blackburn, and Everton are among the teams looking to lure Becks, and the Galaxy are reportedly open to yet another off-season loan deal. This would make three seasons in a row in which Beckham went abroad in January after loan spells with AC Milan in the last two years.
The 35-year-old has been widely tipped to join Spurs, the club where he trained as a youngster before joining United. Beckham spoke with Jamie Redknapp, former player and son of Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, and expressed his interest in coming to White Hart Lane given the team’s style of play.
However, one potentially large stumbling block to Beckham’s signature is his wages. As one of the highest paid athletes in the world, few clubs could afford to pay the former England skipper’s weekly allowance, although Spurs could fund the move by selling players like Robbie Keane in the January transfer window. Harry Redknapp has already conceded that he will need to trim the squad, and that could provide the necessary cash to bring Becks to North London. Another possible hindrance will be the insurance deal that the LA Galaxy are reportedly seeking in case Beckham gets injured, rumored to be upwards of a whopping £500,000.
If you’re a conspiracy theorist (and you’d have to be a Moon Landing Was Staged-level conspiracy theorist for this), you may be interested in the alleged back-room deals between Harry Redknapp and David Beckham. Papers are circulating stories suggesting that if Becks joins the club and Harry takes the England job after Euro 2012, either (A) Harry will call Beckham into the England squad after he takes over, or (B) Harry will give Beckham a spot on the England management team. But again, if you buy that you probably also believe you’re living in some incarnation of ‘The Truman Show’.
If Beckham does indeed make a loan move back to Europe, the Galaxy would undoubtedly be reluctant to let him stay until the end of the Premier League campaign. The Galaxy kicks off their season on the 15th of March, meaning that Beckham could feature in about 10 Spurs matches if all parties come to an agreement soon. With the Champions League knockout stages on the docket for Spurs, Harry will be doing everything he can to bring a player of the experience and caliber of Beckham to North London.
Around the League
Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko is close to a switch to Manchester City after the two clubs agreed a fee of £27 million. The Bosnian helped Wolfsburg win the 2009 Bundesliga, but after a less-than-steller start to the 2010-2011 season under former England boss Steve McClaren, Dzeko is keen to ply his trade elsewhere. While he enters the fray at City, Emmanuel Adebayor looks to be on his way out, as boss Roberto Mancini aims to trim his attack force which also consists of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Roque Santa Cruz, and Jo.
At nearby Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson has sent promising young striker Federico Macheda on loan to Sampdoria for the remainder of the season. The 20-year-old Italian has enjoyed a cult following at United ever since his stunning injury time winner against Aston Villa two years ago on his debut for the club. However, with niggling injuries and the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez, and Michael Owen to compete with for a starting berth, he has yet to see consistent first-team football. After seeing Danny Welbeck flourish on loan at Sunderland this season, Ferguson will let Macheda go to Sampdoria with the hopes of similar progress.
Newcastle permanently signed on-loan winger Hatem Ben Arfa from Marseille this week. The 23-year-old enjoyed a lively start to his Magpies career, scoring a stunning goal against Everton on his debut, but he broke his leg on his second outing in October and hasn’t featured since. The club also awarded a new contract to defender Stephen Taylor, who came up through the ranks at Newcastle.