ROME, February 21 – AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has insisted that his club won't increase their reported offer of three million dollars to Los Angeles Galaxy to permanently sign on-loan midfielder David Beckham.
Galaxy chief Tim Leiweke had described the offer for the 33-year-old former England captain as ridiculous but Galliani is playing hard-ball.
Speaking to the Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday, he said there would be no compromise. "Milan have made an offer that is fair for what is essentially an eight-month loan deal because, as Leiweke said himself, David can leave for nothing on November 30," said Galliani.
"I don’t want to cause any problems, quite the contrary, I want to thank Galaxy for loaning us Beckham these last months."
However, the reported three million dollars on the table will not be increased, despite Galaxy apparently holding out for a figure nearer 12 million dollars.
"Absolutely not. I have a lot of experience with regards the price of players," added Galliani when asked if Milan would increase their bid.
"And from a point of view regarding the European parameters, there’s no sense in spending any more. In the States they look at the commercial aspect. But in Europe transfers are done for technical reasons. I’m already at the limit of the budget at my disposal."
Gazzetta claims that the budget mentioned by Galliani includes not only the transfer fee but also the conditions of Beckham’s contract offer until June 2010.
Galliani’s comments will not be well received in Los Angeles after Leiweke told Gazzetta just 24 hours earlier that he was determined not to let Beckham go on the cheap.
"Two weeks ago Milan made a ridiculous offer that took me just a few seconds to reject," he said of the reported three million dollar bid.
"With this figure Galaxy wouldn’t even be able to cover the loss in revenue from shirt sales.
"They (Milan) don’t understand that behind this affair there are fans who are threatening to give up their season tickets, there’s TV that needs to schedule which matches they will screen, sponsors who want compensation and other teams that have the right to know if Galaxy will play in their stadium with or without Beckham.
"And don’t forget that under normal circumstances our transfer window is closed. If David doesn’t come back, who are we going to replace him with?
"If Milan are so determined to buy him, why are they dragging this out for so long?
"If they think they’ll get him on the cheap that way, they’re wrong."
Gazzetta, however, speculates on a possible solution to the impasse that would see Beckham stay on at Milan until the end of the season before returning to Galaxy in June.
He would then see out the rest of the season with Galaxy before returning to Milan until June 2010.
Beckham’s current loan deal at Milan is due to run out on March 9 while the Major League Soccer season kicks-off on March 22.
If Beckham was to follow Gazzetta’s proposal, he would be available for Galaxy’s June 6 clash with Toronto, having missed 11 MLS games from a 30-match regular season.
Depending on Galaxy’s league finish and qualifying for the play-offs, he would either be available to return to Milan in October or November.