Mixed messages on Becks
Speculation about former Manchester United star David Beckham's potential move to the A-League has been shot down less than 24 hours after it started.
At the exact same time Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop was appearing live on Fox Sports to confirm an approach had been received by Beckham's management about a guest stint in the A-League this season, a representative for the former England captain issued a statement quashing the talk.
The statement from Beckham's people contradicted the promising news Gallop was simultaneously trumpeting, saying their client was ''focused'' on his commitments with US club Los Angeles Galaxy and ''there are absolutely no plans to play in Australia''.
''There is always interest from clubs across the world in signing David,'' a Beckham manager said. ''However, there are absolutely no plans to play in Australia. David is completely focused on the MLS [Major League Soccer] play-offs and winning another championship with the Galaxy.''
Gallop, unaware of the latest from Beckham's management, told Fox Sports the interest was genuine.
The game's new boss said the FFA wanted to help clubs attract Beckham, but would not be responsible for recruiting the global superstar.
Gallop emphasised it would be up to clubs to be ''the first point of contact'' with Beckham.
It is believed Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart are the two teams with official interest at this stage, however after the latest statement from his management, it remains to be seen whether the 37-year-old would even entertain the idea at all.
Gallop said it was his understanding Beckham was interested in a 10-game stint from the A-League transfer window in January.
''I spoke to the player's agent today and said to him that it would be fantastic … but there's some hoops that would have to be jumped through,'' Gallop said.
''The league doesn't employ players so the clubs need to come forward and be the first point of contact.
''The league can certainly assist in some respects but I think what we're talking about at this stage is a guest stint … we're not getting ahead of ourselves at this point.''
Football names don't get much bigger than Beckham and earlier on Friday his former Manchester United teammate Mark Bosnich said everything should be done to secure the global superstar's services in the A-League.
Already boasting Italian star Alessandro Del Piero, Liverpool legend Emile Heskey and Japanese international Shinji Ono, Beckham would be the biggest coup in the history of the league. With the MLS competition in America finishing in a fortnight, the timing would at least work for the Galaxy star.
''There's a golden opportunity right now to secure David's services in Australia, not just for 10 games but for a considerable period of time,'' Bosnich said on Friday.
''He is interested. He wants to come down .. so let's do everything we can to make it happen.
''There's a small window of opportunity with these things and you've got to carpe diem, seize the day, so to speak.''