Milan still hopeful of Beckham deal

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan still hope to sign David Beckham from Los Angeles Galaxy permanently and view the deadline imposed for a deal by Major League Soccer as a “tactic,” chief executive Adriano Galliani said on Saturday.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham shouts to the referee during an exhibition match against South Korean football club FC Seoul at the Seoul World Cup stadium in this March 1, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/Files

The England midfielder, on loan to Milan until March 9, has said he wants to stay at the Serie A club but the Friday deadline passed without agreement. Galaxy said they now expect him to return next month.

“In the meantime Beckham is here at Milan, we’ll see what happens in a month or so,” Galliani told Sky television.

“It’s a tactic,” he added when asked about the deadline.

Italian media speculated that a deal could still be reached by the parties irrespective of the arbitrary deadline set down by MLS during the week.

Beckham is set to play in his first derby against Serie A leaders Inter Milan at the San Siro on Sunday and coach Carlo Ancelotti hopes it will not be his last.

“I cannot know if it will be Beckham’s last derby,” Ancelotti told a news conference on Saturday.

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“My hope is that he can play lots more with the same shirt. At the moment he’s an indispensable player for Milan.”

Beckham’s spokesman said the player and his advisors will consider their position after the Inter game.

“David is focussed on the Milan derby this Sunday. We will be addressing this early next week,” Simon Oliveira told Reuters.

Beckham has the option of buying out his contract and has a clause which means he can leave Galaxy for nothing in October.

Reporting by Paul Virgo and Antonella Ciancio, editing by Padraic Halpin and Kevin Fylan