Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Milan anxious to keep Beckham

Milan believe David Beckham wants to remain at the club when his short-term loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy comes to end.

Club owner Silvio Berlusconi, Beckham's team-mates, Rossoneri fans and even Milan's Serie A opponents have praised the midfielder who has scored two goals and on Sunday set up the first two in a 3-0 win at Lazio.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, when asked if the 33-year-old Beckham wants to stay with the title-chasing Italian giants, said: "I think he does, but I can only speak of what the club wants to do and Milan will do everything possible to have Beckham after March.

"It's evident that our will is there to keep him until the end of the season or even on a permanent transfer.

“There is hope, but contracts have to be honoured. If Galaxy want to start negotiations we will be happy to try. But they (Galaxy) are right, the agreements are clear - on March 9 Beckham must return to America."

The England midfielder's arrival has boosted the Rossoneri, who have avoided defeat in their last five league games while climbing to second in the Serie A standings, six points behind league leaders Inter Milan.

Beckham has proved so effective that club coach Carlo Ancelotti decided to include the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star in Milan's Uefa Cup updated list.

If Milan lose Beckham after March, the midfielder will only be able to play in the two games against Werder Bremen before returning to the United States for the new Major League Soccer season.

In the meantime, Milan are making the most of Beckham's stay. The Rossoneri have been the most followed team on television in the first half of the season, beating Inter and Juventus with an average of 1,079,725 spectators per game.

Asked to comment on the Beckham effect, Galliani said: "It exists and we understand it following the many requests we have received to play friendly games, but it's not only his presence which attracts other clubs. We have a group of stars."

Meanwhile, Clarence Seedorf cannot wait to sample the Ibrox atmosphere once again when Rangers host AC Milan in tonight's glamour friendly.

The midfielder, 32, had recently signed for the Italian giants when they travelled to Glasgow for a pre-season friendly back in July 2002.

Fellow Dutchman Ronald De Boer (right) and Claudio Caniggia were both on the scoresheet for Rangers in an entertaining 2-2 draw on that occasion and Seedorf is anticipating another enjoyable tussle.

He said: "That match was a very long time ago and, indeed, we have achieved a lot of things in the last six years. It will be good to be back.

"It has been very good for us from that moment on. It's good to look back and see over the last six years we have achieved a lot and won a lot of cups. It's great to be back in Glasgow.

"The fans were fantastic; it's a beautiful stadium, great pitch - the perfect atmosphere for a football match.

"It's all good memories, especially because of the atmosphere around the game.

"It's always a big pleasure to go to the north of the UK and enjoy the football match."

Rangers boasts positive connections with some of Seedorf's compatriots, with both De Boer brothers, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Arthur Numan and former boss Dick Advocaat among those who have enjoyed successful spells at Ibrox.

And Seedorf added: "They have always been very positive about the city and life in Scotland in general.

"I haven't heard any negative words from any of them. It's a great place for a player to be and we will enjoy it this time."

Another former Rangers player familiar to Seedorf is Milan team-mate Gennaro Gattuso, who spent a year in Glasgow in the late 1990s before returning to his native Italy.

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