Australia still hoping for Beckham deal
SYDNEY, Australia - Australia's football federation said Saturday it had not given up hope that David Beckham will still play in Australia's A-League this season, despite denials from the former England captain's representatives.
Beckham's management team on Friday played down talk of a potential move to Australia after Football Federation Australia said that the star player wanted to join an A-League club.
FFA chief executive David Gallop said there was still a chance that one of the biggest names in football could join the A-League for a guest stint from January.
The FFA said the 37-year-old has been in talks with Australian teams over a 10-game loan spell in the fledgling domestic competition.
Gallop, who recently took over as FFA chief executive, said there was no need for A-League clubs to be disheartened by the denials.
He said a similar situation arose earlier this year when Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero's management tried to hose down speculation linking him to Sydney FC.
"As we all know, that came to be," Gallop told local radio.
"So let's just see how this one plays out. It's certainly an exciting proposition - no one would deny that."
Gallop said there had been definite contact but the FFA would have preferred for negotiations with Beckham to have been done behind closed doors.
"At the mere mention of Beckham's name, it did leak out and there's been a mushroom of interest," he said.
"There would have to be a fair few hoops that would have to be jumped through and getting a deal with one of the clubs is the first step.
"There's definitely been some contact made and let's just see where it gets to."
Gallop said A-League clubs needed to take the initiative with negotiations.
"I think the connection points now are going to be between the A-League clubs that are interested and Beckham's management, so we'll just have to let that dialogue happen," he said.
"But the timing is pretty good in terms of him being able to come in on a guest stint from the middle of January for 10 games. I think it's a bit of a wait-and-see situation." - Agence France-Presse