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Beckham to play for AC Milan by January

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2008-10-30

LA Galaxy's David Beckham will play on loan for AC Milan from Jan. 7, the Italian club announced. The England player and fashion icon is bidding to stay fit during the US Major League's interseason in order to play a part in the World Cup qualifiers.

David Beckham will join AC Milan on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy in January after the deal was sealed with his lawyers, the Serie A club said on Thursday. 

"AC Milan announces David Beckham's arrival on loan. Agreement has been reached and it is official," said a statement on the club's website (www.acmilan.com). 

"The English player will be a Rossonero from Jan. 7 2009." No details were given on when the loan deal would end.
 
However, Milan's sporting director Umberto Gandini told Sky Sports News: "He (Beckham) has a commitment to go back to the MLS and I think he will do that." 

Since news of the proposed deal broke this month, Beckham, U.S. Major League Soccer and a slightly reluctant Galaxy all said he would return to Los Angeles for the start of the new season in late March. 

The 33-year-old is joining Milan to keep up his fitness during the United States close season and stay in contention for an England squad place. He has 107 caps and needs two more to beat Bobby Moore's England record for an outfield player. 

The MLS regular season finished at the weekend with Galaxy failing to make the playoffs. 


'No playboy'

England coach Fabio Capello, who dropped Beckham while they were together at Real Madrid, said his former club Milan were doing good business. 

But he did not say whether the midfielder's loan move would help his international prospects. 

"Milan have made a good addition," Capello was quoted as saying in Italian media.  

"At Madrid I left him out of the squad because he had signed a contract with Los Angeles but he continued to come on the field and train and I put him back in the team. 

"He is a very serious lad, very sensible, a professional. People think he is a playboy off the field, it's not true at all." 

Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said earlier on Thursday that Beckham's lawyers were coming to the city for talks rather than next week as planned. 

He hinted a deal was some way off but in the end negotiations were wrapped up swiftly.

Italian media had said issues with the image rights of Beckham, one of the most famous and marketable soccer players ever, had caused an initial hold up last week. 

Seven times European champions Milan, who failed to qualify for the Champions League this season after finishing fifth last term, moved above city rivals Inter into third on Wednesday after a 2-1 home win over Siena. 

Coach Carlo Ancelotti traditionally does not play with wingers but has welcomed the arrival of former Manchester United player Beckham as it gives him more options.

Date created : 2008-10-30

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