It appears that English soccer star David Beckham will be staying in the U.S. to continue his career with the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS (Major League Soccer). Beckham said he had been thinking about moving to Europe to play in either England or France since he wants to stay in shape hoping for a recall to the English national team or to be selected for Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic squad.
The 36-year-old former captain of England had been offered a lucrative contract by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) of France, but that club said he turned it down since he doesn’t want to move his family out of America now. Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of PSG said his team was hoping to sign Beckham and they’re disappointed, but perhaps a deal could be worked out with the midfielder in the future.
Beckham has spent the past five years with the Galaxy with his contract expiring at the end of last season after the team won the MLS Cup. Several European clubs expressed interest in signing him and many experts believed PSG had the inside track. It’s been reported that he’s looking for a new one-year deal with Los Angeles. He was earning a base of $6.5 million a year on his old contract.
French media said PSG and its rich Qatari owners would have paid Beckham about double that amount. However, it seems he and his wife Victoria, a former Spice Girl, like living in California, where they moved to in 2007 after leaving Spain. Insiders believe Victoria doesn’t want to take their four children out of the U.S. at this point.
Beckham still hasn’t officially confirmed anything, but recently said he’s proud of playing for Los Angeles and there’s a good chance it will continue. The team has been strengthened with last season’s signing Robbie Keane, the captain of the Irish national team, and that may sway Beckham’s decision, as might winning his first MLS Cup.
The next MLS season kicks off in March, but Beckham desperately wants to represent his nation in either the Olympics or the European Championships (Euro 2012) in the summer. If he’s selected to one of those team’s he’ll have to work out some type of deal with the Galaxy so they’ll release him for a few weeks in the middle of their season.
It’s unclear how much the Galaxy will be willing to pay Beckham since he seems to be holding all of the cards. Los Angeles knows there are quite a few teams after him and he’s been offered more money to play elsewhere. However, Beckham’s a soccer icon who attracts thousands of fans wherever he plays around the world.
The Galaxy makes a lot of money in appearance fees when they go on tour and Beckham merchandise sells like hotcakes, helping pay a good chunk of his salary. MLS will also be anxious to keep the league’s first superstar in its midst.