Soccer

Becks helps find replacement

2012-11-30 19:23
David Beckham (Gallo Images)

Los Angeles - David Beckham has been helping L.A. Galaxy find the man who can replace him after he leaves the Major League Soccer club - as the team aims to widen their appeal to California's large Hispanic community.

Tim Leiweke, president of Galaxy's owners AEG, says the club have targeted a player who is currently under contract with a top European side but has indicated he would like to move to MLS and has spoken to Beckham, who will leave Galaxy after Saturday's MLS Cup final.

"The guy who introduced us to this player is David Beckham. David has done the yeoman's work on our behalf at introducing us, getting him comfortable, getting his family comfortable, talking about L.A. and the organization," Leiweke said, in a podcast for Galaxy's official website.

Leiweke did not name the player but his comments will fuel speculation that Brazilian Kaka, who plays for Beckham's former club Real Madrid, could be the target.

Earlier this month former World Player of the Year, Kaka, who is 30, said, after playing for Brazil against Colombia in New Jersey, that he would like to play in MLS in the future.

While such comments are frequently made, and Real winger Cristiano Ronaldo is among the others who have also talked of such a future, suggestions of a Kaka move to the Galaxy have circulated since he began to fall out of favour at Real.

"I think if you sit down and realistically look at the headlines and what has been said out there in the last few months, I think we all know who I am talking about," said Leiweke.

"But he is under contract to a team in Europe and as long as he is under contract we are not going to tamper.

"That said, I believe, that people ought to understand that when one of the better players in the world says 'I'd like to play in Major League Soccer' he means it and that was not lost on us and it is a player we have been talking to for years. So this is not a new adventure," he said.

Beckham's involvement in the attempted deal for whoever Galaxy may be targeting is another fascinating aspect of the former England midfielder's future plans.

The 37-year-old has said he intends to have one more playing challenge after leaving Galaxy but will then return to the U.S. to play an ownership role although he has not indicated where that involvement would be or what form his role would take.

Beckham has an option to take an ownership share in a future expansion team in MLS but Leiweke suggested his involvement will be with the Galaxy.

"David is going to continue to be a part of this organization going forward because there is no-one better to go out and get some of the best players in the world to come here than David," he said.

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber also noted that the Galaxy were keen to keep Beckham involved at their club.

"I have heard that Tim Leiweke said that he would be interested to talk to David about how he might be involved in the Galaxy, this is all very real-time," he said.

At his news conference on Thursday, Beckham mentioned a future role, in some form, as a recruiter of talent for MLS.

"Just because I'm not playing here anymore after the weekend, my commitment stays the same. And I will do anything to keep these players coming over like Robbie Keane, like Thierry Henry, and anything I can do on that side of things I want to do," he said.

Asked what he would say to try to tempt a top player to come to MLS, Beckham said: "My pitch is simple: if you want to be a part of something that is going to be big... when Tim Leiweke came to me six years ago in my house, that's exactly what he said to me. He said 'soccer's not one of the biggest sports in the U.S., but one day it will be.' And I believed him."

Read more on:    la galaxy  |  david beckham  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Fans predict Bafana gloom

22 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Is Louis van Gaal the right man to restore the glory days at United?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.