English Premiership

Hammers to rescue Beckham?

2010-08-12 20:15
David Beckham (file)

London - Premier League side West Ham believe they can rescue David Beckham from the scrapheap onto which the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was controversially dumped by England coach Fabio Capello.

The 35-year-old Beckham, England's most capped outfield player, was told by Capello that he was too old to be considered for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.

But West Ham insisted on Thursday that the midfielder, still playing club football with the Los Angeles Galaxy, could have a crucial ambassadorial role in the club's hopes of playing in the Olympic stadium once the 2012 London Games are finished.

West Ham co-chairman David Gold said there is an open invitation for Beckham to join the club either on loan as a player or for him to be a club ambassador.

"He's still a great player and it would be a fantastic statement if he came to West Ham," Gold told the BBC.

"We showed interest at the end of the season and asked would he come and join us, maybe just for half a season on loan.

"Sadly, his commitments are such that this is probably not going to happen now. The January transfer window doesn't look possible, but we still have an open invitation to David to join us.

"Our belief is that he is still a great player and it would be a fantastic statement if he came to West Ham. He's an East End boy and it would be a fitting end to his career.

"We also had in mind his value as an ambassador to help us with securing the Olympic Stadium. He was an ambassador for the 2012 bid and is doing the same for the 2018 World Cup."

Despite Capello's insistence that Beckham's time as an international has finished, the player's agent said that the midfielder was not about to announce his international retirement.

A statement read: "There has been no discussion of retirement. He will always be available for his country, when fit and if needed he will be there."

However, Capello confirmed after Wednesday's 2-1 friendly win over Hungary that Beckham was no longer in his plans as he looks for younger players to spearhead the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

"I think David knows he has no future with the international team because we have to change," said Capello.

"I'm sure someone will have phoned him now. We tried to speak to him but we couldn't. I will speak to him soon."

But Capello revealed he would grant Beckham a farewell appearance at Wembley in a friendly, probably against France in November.

"David is a fantastic player, he was really important but we have to monitor the new players for the future. The age is important," Capello said.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Los Angeles, prior to Capello's comments, Beckham said: "I've always said that I won't retire from playing for my country, whether I never get picked again, play one more game or 10 more games.

"There are a lot of good young players coming through. We'll see."

Beckham has admitted that being forced to miss the World Cup this summer through injury had made him more determined to play again, although his options are becoming more limited.

AC Milan, where he had two spells on loan, have already said that a third deal will not be in the offing.

Meanwhile, former teammates have rallied to Beckham's side.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, who played alongside him at Manchester United, backed the discarded star to bounce back.

"I still wouldn't write him off yet," said Bruce.

"He's a decent lad and he's always been absolutely 100 percent dedicated to football. Whenever he pulled on a jersey there was a fantastic energy and enthusiasm about him."

Ryan Giggs, who played alongside Beckham for United between 1993 and 2003, feels that completing his rehabilitation from his Achilles tendon injury will be his former teammate's priority.

"This will be a massive disappointment as I know how much he loves playing for his country and there is no-one in the world who can do what he can do: deliver pin-point crosses, match-winning free-kicks, and he is an overall great player," said Giggs.

"But he will come back even stronger. He is an unbelievable talent and Becks has said he still wants to play for England, so we will have to wait and see."

Read more on:    west ham  |  david beckham
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