GLASGOW, February 5 – David Beckham has pleaded with LA Galaxy chiefs to release him from his contract with the US Major League Soccer side and let him turn his loan move to Italian giants AC Milan into a permanent deal.
Initially derided as a publicity stunt for a player whose off-field celebrity has overshadowed his football ability in recent years, Beckham’s move to the San Siro has sparked a renaissance in the England midfielder’s career.
And staying with the Rossoneri, who’ve made no secret of their wish to hang on to the 33-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid playmaker, would undoubtedly do more for Beckham’s hopes of appearing for England in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa than a return to the west coast of America.
However, as things stand, Beckham is due to head back to Los Angeles when his loan move expires on March 9.
But Beckham, after playing in the first-half of Milan’s 2-2 friendly draw with Rangers here at Ibrox on Wednesday, made no secret of where his heart lay.
"At the moment my lawyers are not talking to the Galaxy but I have expressed my desire to stay at AC Milan now and it’s just down to Milan and Galaxy to come to an agreement," he said.
"I have enjoyed my time here (at Milan). I knew I would enjoy it but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have."
Beckham, 33, has been in fine form since arriving at the San Siro, scoring twice for Milan to help the club into second place in Italy’s Serie A behind city rivals Inter.
"I’ve expressed my desire to stay here for a while but at the moment I’m still a Galaxy player," Beckham said. "I respect the Galaxy and everything they have done for me. They have always been great to me."
Nevertheless, he added: "But I hope they can come to an agreement and it’s down to the clubs now. At this point it’s out of my hands. I’ve said what my feelings are to both clubs.
"To be given the chance again to play at this level at my age is pretty incredible and I’ve enjoyed it so much I would like to continue it. I think people have seen the way I’ve been since playing at this level again. It’s nothing against the MLS and the football over there, because it’s a game that will grow but it will take quite a few years."
"I’m still confident that will happen eventually, but I want to have a chance of being involved in 2010 and I believe my best chance of doing so is to remain here."
With perhaps one eye on next week’s international friendly away to Spain, where Beckham could equal Bobby Moore’s England record of 108 caps for an outfielder, the dead-ball expert rarely broke sweat before being substituted at half-time.
Instead it was the Brazil duo of Kaka and Peto who scored for the visitors after DaMarcus Beasley, himself a former MLS player, put Rangers ahead.Sasa Papac’s late equaliser ensured parity for the Gers.
Beasley gave Rangers the lead in the 65th minute when the US international sped past two Milan defenders before beating Dida from ten yards out.
That lead lasted just five minutes before Pato equalised. The Brazilian wonder kid, only on the pitch for a minute, had an easy task in netting from six yards after the ball broke across the goalmouth.
Kaka, who had replaced Ronaldinho on the hour mark, put Milan in front after 78 minutes.
The former world player of the year, who recently turned down what would have been a world record transfer to English Premier League big-spenders Manchester City, held off Steven Davis’s challenge before firing a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Rangers were soon level when left-back Papac scored only his second goal for the club in the 83rd minute after good work from Aaron Niguez.